Estate Planning Attorney

Over the last 40 years, I’ve built a reputation as a caring and knowledgeable estate attorney in Columbus, Ohio. It’s my true belief that heartfelt planning builds lasting legacies.

Parents hugging their adult daughter after meeting with Estate Attorney, Chuck Bendig
Expertise Best of Columbus Estate Planning 2024

#1 Estate Planning Attorney in Columbus, Ohio

We’re so honored to be named again as the best estate attorney in Columbus by Rated 5 stars for responsiveness, friendliness, helpfulness, and attention to detail. See this amazing achievement here.

In the journey of life, we accumulate not just memories but also assets that reflect our hard work and dedication. As we navigate through the twists and turns, it becomes imperative to ensure that our legacy is preserved and passed on seamlessly to the ones we cherish the most. This is where the expertise of an empathetic estate attorney can make a world of difference. We’re glad you’re here.

An older woman smiling and talking to her granddaughter while taking inventory for her estate plan

Understanding the Importance of Estate Planning:

Estate planning is more than just legal paperwork; it’s a thoughtful and compassionate process that considers your unique circumstances and wishes. I’ll help you navigate the complexities while ensuring your loved ones are well taken care of in the future.

“I went to Mr Bendig to update my will and put a living will in place. He was patient and kindly expressed the best options to avoid end of life hassles for my heirs.”

– Janice S. (Google Review)

Our Estate Planning Services

Estate planning is a crucial and often overlooked aspect of financial management that offers a multitude of benefits for individuals and their families. Here are some of the estate planning services we can help with.

Will Drafting

Crafting a clear and comprehensive will is at the heart of effective estate planning. We work with you to ensure that your wishes are accurately documented.

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Trust Formation

Exploring the benefits of trusts to protect assets, minimize taxes, and provide for specific needs of beneficiaries.

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Healthcare Directive

Clearly outlining your preferences for medical treatment and appointing a trusted individual to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if needed.

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Guardianship Appointment

Designating guardians for minor children to ensure their well-being and upbringing according to your values.

Probate Assitance

Guiding your loved ones through the probate process with empathy and efficiency in times of transition.

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Personalized Consultation

We take the time to understand your circumstances, family dynamics, and financial goals through one-on-one consultations.

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Your guide to estate planning booklet

Download your FREE Estate Planning Guide

This guide is packed with tips and includes a printable checklist.

How An Estate Attorney Can Help

We believe in a compassionate and comprehensive approach to estate planning, and we understand that discussing matters related to inheritance, health care directives, and guardianship can be emotionally charged. That’s why we’re committed to creating a safe space for you to express your concerns, hopes, and aspirations, ensuring that your wishes are heard and respected.

Personal Guidance

We provide personalized advice based on your unique circumstances and family dynamics, and we take the time to understand your goals, ensuring that your plan aligns with your aspirations.

Legal Expertise

Estate plan laws and regulations are complex. We’ll use our experience to ensure that your documents are legally sound and will be upheld in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls

We’ll help you steer clear of common mistakes and oversights that may arise when creating an estate plan independently. Thus, protecting your loved ones from potential complications or disputes.

Updates and Revisions

As your estate attorney, we emphasize the importance of regular updates to your estate plan. We’ll keep your plan aligned with changes in your life, such as marriages, births, or significant financial shifts.

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Estate Planning FAQs

Which estate planning documents are essential?

If your current financial situations don’t warrant the need for a revocable living trust, then your basic estate plan will typically include the following legal documents:

  1. Last Will and Testament
  2. Advance Medical Directive
  3. Living Will
  4. Financial Power of Attorney

Probate and estate planning can be tough. I’m here to walk you through it. Give me a call.

What happens if someone dies without a will?

When someone dies without a valid will, Ohio laws will decide how their property will be distributed as well as who will receive the property. Typically family members and heirs that are closely related to the deceased are favored.

Do all wills need to go through probate?

Many people die without going through probate. Many times, all assets pass automatically at death. The will in that situation is a backup document in the event an asset unexpectedly does not pass automatically at death.

Does an estate executor or administrator receive compensation?

Executors administrators can be compensated for the responsibility, time and effort they put in to complete the estate process. Executor fees in Ohio are typically set by statute:

4% of the first $100,000 of personal property, income, and proceeds of real estate sold;

3% of the next $300,000;

2% of the balance;

1% of the value of real estate not sold; and 1% of all property that is not subject to probate administration and that is includable for purposes of computing the Ohio estate tax, except joint and survivorship property.

The fiduciary may waive the fee. Additional fees can be awarded for extraordinary services.

Does Ohio have an inheritance or estate tax?

Estate and inheritance taxes are taxes that are levied on people who either own property in the state where they died or inherit property from a resident of a state. Currently Ohio residents are not subject to this tax.

What is the process of settling an estate in Ohio?

A will and death certificate need to be filed in the Probate Court in the county where the decedent lived. If there is no will, the death certificate is filed with a bond and application to administer by a family member.

Standard forms for probate need to be filed. This begins the process of appointing an executor administrator.

The Court will then issue “Letters of Authority” to the executor administrator which gives the executor administrator legal authority to act on behalf of the estate.

Within 3 months of appointment of an executor administrator , an inventory of the estate’s assets must be filed.

Creditors have 6 months from the date of death to make a claim.

Once all of the creditors and taxes (if any) have been paid, a final account (typically) needs to be filed with the court.

Lastly, the Court will issue an order, distributing the estate’s property to the beneficiaries.

Legal fees are typically paid at the end of the administration.

Some smaller estates qualify for relief from administration, you would need to call an attorney to determine if your estate qualifies or go to probate court and talk to a clerk.

Estate Planning Articles

How Do Pour-Over Wills Work?

How Do Pour-Over Wills Work?

What is a Pour-Over Will? A pour-over will is a last will and testament that transfers all of the deceased person’s property, upon death, into a...

How a Trust for Minors Works

How a Trust for Minors Works

A trust for minors is typically established as a strategy to protect assets and distribute property to children without allowing them immediate...