James Bart Leonardi’s Answers

James Bart Leonardi

Cleveland Estate Planning Attorney.

Contributor Level 10
  1. Do you still need a will if you have a Irrevocable living trust in which all of your assets are under?

    Answered about 1 year ago.

    1. James Bart Leonardi
    2. Charles Adam Shultz
    3. Joseph Michael Pankowski Jr
    4. Joseph Franklin Pippen Jr.
    5. William Thomas Schemmel
    5 lawyer answers

    I agree with the other two lawyers. It sounds like you have a revocable living trust. It sounds like you need to have an entire estate plan designed for you to make sure you have the documents that actually will achieve your goals.

    10 lawyers agreed with this answer

  2. Will my new spouse receive my life insurance benefits?

    Answered about 1 year ago.

    1. James Bart Leonardi
    2. Arthur Harold Geffen
    3. William Joseph Reynolds
    4. Justin Jay Watling
    4 lawyer answers

    She will not become the beneficiary unless you name her as such.

    9 lawyers agreed with this answer

  3. Is there a SOL on bills owed by deceased? A nursing home she briefly stayed at long prior to her death finally billed her.

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. James Bart Leonardi
    2. Michael Leo Potter
    3. Matthew Erik Johnson
    3 lawyer answers

    In Ohio, creditors have a six month window to file claims against an estate a decedent. If an estate isn't opened in that time period, the creditor must open it or they lose the right to collect their claim. There are certain exceptions to this rule such as secured creditors, Medicaid recovery, etc. You also haven't mentioned whether your mother in law was married. If so, the claim could still be payable. More information is needed to give you a specific answer to your situation. These are...

    9 lawyers agreed with this answer

  4. Can my Mother avoid probate court???

    Answered about 1 year ago.

    1. James Bart Leonardi
    2. Joseph Michael Pankowski Jr
    3. Charles Adam Shultz
    4. William Joseph Reynolds
    5. Joseph Franklin Pippen Jr.
    6. ···
    6 lawyer answers

    Based on what you have said above, it appears that the only way the real property will pass to your mother is to probate the Will. Without a TOD Affidavit on the Deed and it not being a survivorship deed, it must go through probate. You also mentioned cars, they need to pass through probate too, unless they had some sort of TOD Designation on their title. Oftentimes people try everything they can do to avoid probate, but it must be set up prior to death through various estate planning...

    8 lawyers agreed with this answer

  5. IF I HAVE ADULT CHILDREN MUST I LEAVE ANYTHING TO THEM? WOULD THEY BE ABLE TO CONTEST MY WILL IF THEY ARE LEFT OUT OF IT.

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. James Bart Leonardi
    2. Charles Lawrence Huddleston III
    3. James P. Frederick
    4. Matthew Erik Johnson
    5. Douglas R Holbrook
    6. ···
    6 lawyer answers

    Whether your children can contest the Will and whether they would be successful are two separate issues. To answer your question, yes, your children can challenge the Will. However, to be successful they would have to prove that you either didn't have the mental capacity to make the Will (what we refer to as testamentary capacity) or that someone had undue influence upon you when you made the Will causing you to disinherit your children from the prior marriage. Unless either of these conditions...

    8 lawyers agreed with this answer

  6. My dad passed away.I am the only son and there is his wife.what are my rights to his estate and bank accounts,his personal beloi

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. James Bart Leonardi
    2. Peter Vincent Arcese
    3. Charles Lawrence Huddleston III
    4. Wilson Alexander Smith
    4 lawyer answers

    Your question is a common one. The short answer is it depends several factors; 1) is there a will? If so the will controls, subject to some rights in the surviving spouse should she like that option better than what the will says, 2) it depends on how the bank accounts and other property such as cars and any real property were titled, were they joint accounts with you as an owner, were they payable on death accounts, was there a transfer on death affidavit in place for the house, etc. I would...

    8 lawyers agreed with this answer

  7. In a wrongful death suit do my sister and I have an equal right to the settlement money as my step-mother does?

    Answered 5 months ago.

    1. Justin Jay Watling
    2. James Bart Leonardi
    3. Christian K. Lassen II
    3 lawyer answers

    This situation occurs often enough and is fact specific for each case. I have represented many children against their step parents in these situations and they are always dependent on the facts of each case. There is case law that supports the position of each and you need to retain probate counsel who understands this area of law. I would caution against someone who just dabbles in probate. Good luck

    7 lawyers agreed with this answer

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  8. What happens if a beneficiary has been considered dead for purposes of inheritance and theres no others and no estate?

    Answered 11 months ago.

    1. James Bart Leonardi
    2. Elliott Lee Stapleton
    3. Robert Darius Dumbrys
    3 lawyer answers

    It is unclear from the information you have provided how your mother transferred her house to your father if she didn't own it? In general, a claim can be made by a creditor against estate assets. It sounds as if the one life insurance policies will be paid to the estate. Depending on when your mother died and when the claims are filed, the funds (or a portion thereof) may be subject to creditor claims. You need to contact a probate lawyer so they can elicit more facts from you and help you...

    7 lawyers agreed with this answer

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  9. I need help.i am in the state of virginia assisting my mother with my brothers final affairs.im so lost.please help!

    Answered about 1 year ago.

    1. James Bart Leonardi
    2. Donna R Blaustein
    3. Charles Lawrence Huddleston III
    4. Celia R Reed
    4 lawyer answers

    I am sorry for your loss. To answer your question, many lawyers on here are familiar with all aspects of probate. I would suggest contacting someone in the Columbus area (Franklin County) to help your family with this. There are many fine lawyers on Avvo. One that comes to mind in Columbus is Charles Huddleston. I'm sure you can get some names from the find a lawyer option on Avvo. Best of luck.

    7 lawyers agreed with this answer

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  10. Is there a statute of limitations on having to file Probate in Ohio, State or Federal?

    Answered about 1 year ago.

    1. Celia R Reed
    2. James Bart Leonardi
    3. Charles Adam Shultz
    4. Stuart Gregory Steingraber
    5. James P. Frederick
    5 lawyer answers

    You are fine.

    7 lawyers agreed with this answer

    1 person marked this answer as helpful