The death of a parent is never easy. When significant assets are involved, siblings may have disagreements over how the family legacy should be handled. Even when a parent has created an elaborate plan to pass the family company and other assets on to the children, heated disputes may erupt into litigation. Our Toledo area readers may have missed a story from another Great Lakes state that highlights how a detailed estate plan may not always protect against sibling rivalry.
In a perfect world, administering an estate should be a seamless process that runs efficiently from start to finish. Unfortunately, many people who are appointed as the executor of an estate have no experience with the process. Mistakes can arise during the probate process - some with little consequence, others that lead to profound probate disputes.
The executor of an estate has many responsibilities with regard to managing the assets of a decedent. Ohio residents should be careful when they are choosing who to place in this position. In a case that was brought before the Supreme Court, the plaintiff alleged that the defendants, the co-executors of an estate, failed in their fiduciary duty when they overvalued an asset by $3 million. The plaintiff, who was the sole beneficiary of the estate, argued the miscalculated evaluation resulted in excessive federal estate taxes.