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James Bart Leonardi

James Leonardi’s Answers

131 total


  • How do I begin to contest a will that everything was given to the executor of the estate. Other than a few other small amounts

    How do I begin to contest a will that everything was given to the executor of the estate. Other than a few other small amounts of money to a few other people.

    James’s Answer

    Challenging a will is an undertaking that really requires a lawyer who specifically handles probate litigation. You need to seek out one who practices in this area and talk with them about your concerns. Contesting a will needs to occur within a given time period and is a very fact specific issue. Seek out those who are probate litigators. It is worth what small cost there may be for an initial meeting to determine whether you have a strong case or not.

    Best of luck.

    Bart Leonardi
    James Bart Leonardi, LLC
    24700 Center Ridge Rd., #250
    Westlake, OH 44145
    440-937-8364
    www.bartleonardi.com

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  • Could my aunt be charged rent, or be paid by the estate for being a caretaker of the property until everything is settled?

    My grandmother passed away this week. According to her will, my mother, along with her 5 siblings, are each to receive 1/6 of her total assets (my grandfather passed previously). There are over 100 acres of farm land, an informal land lease, and...

    James’s Answer

    It is possible that your aunt be charged rent, but it also is possible that she may be able to show that by taking care of the property it was in lieu of rent. This is all fact specific though. Best of luck.

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  • Where can I find an attorney in Akron to discuss an involuntary committal with a client?

    I am an attorney in NC and have a client who was involuntarily committed by her sister last weekend in Akron Ohio. I am looking for a referral.

    James’s Answer

    I would recommend Amy Papesh at Elk and Elk.

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  • Probating a will

    I know it is preferable to use an attorney, but could i probate my brother's will myself?

    James’s Answer

    It is difficult to answer your question as it is very broadly written. Is it possible - yes. Is it advisable? That really depends on the size of the estate, type of assets in the estate, creditors and a host of other issues. It is worth contacting a probate attorney to discuss the case. After that, I believe you would be in a better position to judge that for yourself. I can tell you that oftentimes wading into probate without a probate lawyer can be an ill advised decision.

    Bart Leonardi
    James Bart Leonardi, LLC
    24700 Center Ridge Rd., Ste 250
    Westlake, OH 44145
    449-937-8364

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  • How do you remove an executor of a will?

    refusing to execute the terms of the will; incomplete inventory ; unsubstantiated claims against the estate, threats to other heirs

    James’s Answer

    There is a process to seek removal of an Executor. You should consult with a probate attorney that also does probate litigation. They will best be able to evaluate your case for you.

    Bart Leonardi
    James Bart Leonardi, LLC
    24700 Center Ridge Road, Suite 250
    Westlake, OH 44145
    440-937-8364
    www.bartleonardi.com

    See question 
  • Is a Probate Attorney Really Necessary?

    My Mom passed away in March 2015. I finally found her will written in 1991. I am her only child so everything goes to me, and there are no other family members claiming anything. Since I have the will and her death certificate do I really need to ...

    James’s Answer

    You should definitely seek the advice of a probate attorney in your area. There are more considerations to probate than most people realize, even in "so-called" simple estates. It is well worth the cost of an attorney to protect you as fiduciary and to make sure everything proceeds properly.

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  • My mother in Ohio passed away recently and stipulated in her will that her estate be divided equally among her 3 adult children

    One of her children, Steve, died a few years before her. He had 4 adult children of his own. Are they entitled to his share of the estate, according to Ohio law, even though they are not mentioned in the will?

    James’s Answer

    I totally agree with Mr. Huddleston. He is in your area and would be an excellent attorney to contact.

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  • Can my mom sell a warranty deed property if my dad has passed?

    My dad and mom bought a house under a warranty deed before the survivorship deed was available. My dad has since passed. Can she sell the property free and clear and if so how do she go about doing it? If so, what if she allowed a relative to hav...

    James’s Answer

    If it is not a survivorship deed, an estate will need to be opened to transfer his share to her.

    Bart Leonardi
    James Bart Leonardi, LLC
    26451 Curtiss Wright Pkwy., #100
    Cleveland, OH 44143
    www.bartleonardi.com
    440-937-8364

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  • My father died without a will or beneficiary to his life insurance policy

    I am the eldest of three surviving children to my father's estate which had no will or life insurance policy. No one will talk to anyone but an estate lawyer, which we can't afford. I am living in his home, but the mortgage was in his name only. I...

    James’s Answer

    You need to talk with a probate lawyer to help you through this. It is not something you want to attempt on your own nor with an attorney who doesn't focus their practice in probate. There are several of us in the greater Cleveland area who could help.

    Bart Leonardi
    James Bart Leonardi, LLC
    24500 Center Ridge Rd., Suite 170
    Westlake, OH 44145
    www.bartleonardi.com

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  • Does a real-estate property with a negative equity count as positive estate value?

    In the state of Ohio, if the estate of the deceased spouse is less than 100,000, then no attorney is needed for the probate process. We have a rental property that has a negative equity value, if the house is now worth 10,000, does that count tow...

    James’s Answer

    I would caution you against thinking that just because the estate value may be under $100,000 that no attorney is needed. If I were you, I would consult with an attorney that focuses their practice in probate. You do not want to make mistakes and that easily happens when non-lawyers attempt to probate estates on their own, even with a release from administration.

    Bart Leonardi
    James Bart Leonardi, LLC
    26451 Curtiss Wright Pkwy., #100
    Cleveland, OH 44143
    www.bartleonardi.com

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