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Attorney Kathryn T. Joseph Educates People on How to Handle a Deceased Loved One's Affairs


Ohio estate planning attorney Kathryn T. Joseph lists the top ten tips regarding the process after a loved one passes.

CLEVELAND (PRWEB) July 20, 2018

Death is an inevitable part of life. "After a loved one passes we need to grieve," said attorney Kathryn T. Joseph, founder of Kathryn T. Joseph & Associates. "However, we must also take care of their affairs."

To educate people on what to do following the passing of a loved one, Joseph, who has been appointed by the Cuyahoga County Probate Court to serve as guardian or conservator of the person and estate for more than 200 individuals whom the Probate Court has determined to have become unable to handle their own affairs, lists the following ten tips.

No. 1: Address the funeral arrangements first. "See if the decedent has any written funeral declarations setting forth his or her wishes," advised Joseph.

No. 2: Secure the house and other property. This is imperative.

No. 3: Allow yourself a period to grieve. "Don't worry about paying the bills, transferring assets or opening an estate until burial and funeral services are complete," added Joseph.

No. 4: Look for the original Will and Trust documents.

No. 5: Collect bills, bank statements, tax returns if they can be located.

No. 6: Contact an attorney. "This is essential in determining whether or not an estate needs to be opened," stressed Joseph. "If assets were held jointly or if assets had a beneficiary, it is not necessary to probate the estate. The assets can be transferred directly to the co-owner or beneficiary without probate court intervention. Usually, a certified death certificate needs to be presented in order to release the funds to the joint owner or beneficiary."

No. 7: If an estate is opened, there is a period of time in which creditors can assert claims. These claims need to be evaluated and either paid or rejected by the administrator or executor of the estate.

No. 8: Contact an accountant to determine if final federal, state and locate tax returns need to be filed for the decedent. "If there is income earned on the assets after death, estate income tax returns may need to be filed as well," stated Joseph.

No. 9: If an estate is opened, the legitimate bills, estate administration expenses, and taxes must be paid first before distribution to the beneficiaries.

No. 10: Determine assets. "If there are not enough estate assets to pay all bills, expenses, and taxes, the estate is considered insolvent and a proceeding to determine the order of payment of debts must be held by the Probate Court," concluded Joseph.

About Kathryn T. Joseph & Associates, Inc.
Kathryn T. Joseph & Associates, Inc. provides individuals with the exceptional technical proficiency and litigation experience normally associated with large national firms. Practice areas include estate administration, elder law,estate planning, probate and guardianships. For more information, call (216) 245-0504, or visit The law office is located at Executive Commons West, 29425 Chagrin Blvd., Suite 305, Cleveland, OH 44122.

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