Glossary Ohio Probate and Estate Law Terms

Advanced Directive: A legal document that allows you to convey your decisions about specific situations ahead of time. For example, you may have an Advanced Directive not to be placed on medical life-support systems.

Asset Protection Trust: A type of trust used to avoid or mitigate the effects of taxation, divorce or bankruptcy on the beneficiaries.

Beneficiary: A person or other legal entity who receives property or other benefits.

Conservatorship: A court case where a judge appoints appoints a person or an organization to care for an adult who cannot care for himself or herself.

Contest a Will: The legal process of filing a formal objection against the validity of a will.

Contest a Trust: The legal process of filing a formal objection against the validity of a trust.

Creditor Protection Trust: A type of trust used to avoid or mitigate the effects from creditors on the beneficiaries.

Crummey Trust: A trust for the benefit of a minor into which gifts are made and excluded from gift and estate taxes.

Divorce Protection Trust: A type of trust used to avoid or mitigate the effects of a divorce on the beneficiaries.

Durable Power of Attorney: A type of power of attorney whereby the authority granted remains in effect even if the grantor becomes incapacitated.

Estate: A term for a person’s property, entitlements and obligations.

Estate Planning: The process for disposing or transferring an estate. Estate planning can eliminate uncertainties associated with probate and maximize the value of an estate.

Fiduciary: A legal relationship of trust between two or more parties. A fiduciary is someone who acts on behalf of another based on a relationship of trust and confidence.

Guardianship: The appointment of a person or legal entity by a probate court to be legally responsible for another person and/or another person’s property.

Health Care Power of Attorney: A type of power of attorney that gives the attorney-in-fact the power to make health care decisions for the grantor.

Intestate: A term used to describe a situation where a person has died without a will or without a valid will.

Irrevocable Trust: A type of trust that cannot be modified or terminated without the permission of the beneficiaries.

Last Will and Testament: A legal document by which a person names another person to manage and administer his or her estate and provides for the transfer of property after his or her death.

Living Trust: A legal structure for holding and distributing a person’s estate to avoid probate.

Living Will: A legal document that a person uses to make known his or her wishes regarding life prolonging medical treatments.

Non-Probate Property: An asset or other type of property that does not have to pass through the probate process after the death of the owner of the property.

Power of Attorney: A written authorization to represent or act in another person’s behalf.

Probate: The first step in the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person, resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person’s property under a will or Ohio law.

Probate Property: An asset or other type of property that is required to pass through the probate process after the death of the owner of the property.

Revocable Trust: A type of trust that can be modified and terminated without the permission of the beneficiaries.

Special Needs Trust: A type of trust established for beneficiaries who are disabled or mentally ill.

Testamentary Trust: A type of trust that goes into effect upon a person’s death. It is typically used when a person wants to leave property to a beneficiary but doesn’t want the beneficiary to use the assets until a specific time.

Trust: A legal structure where property is held by one party for the benefit of another.

Trustee: A person appointment to manage and administer the provisions of a trust.

Ward: Someone placed under the protection of a legal guardian.

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