Mendenhall Law Group strives to create effective, concise, and personalized estate plans. We work with our clients to develop a plan that is right for them. Whether the goal is avoiding probate or drafting specialized wills, we can help you achieve your goals.

Client-Tailored Plans 

Each client has unique needs.  Mendenhall Law Group works efficiently with our clients without making things unnecessarily costly. If you plan accordingly, you can transfer property outside the probate process. Our plans include the following documents:

  • Last will and testament
  • Power of attorney, or
  • Durable power of attorney
  • Healthcare power of attorney
  • Living will

Mendenhall Law Group can also help with:

  • Survivorship Deeds
  • Transfer on death affidavits for vehicles

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If a loved one passes away, the estate may need to pass through the probate court in the county that they lived in. The probate process can be confusing. Mendenhall Law Group can help guide you and your family through this complicated process.

Testate Estate 

An estate is deemed to be a “testate” estate if there is a valid will. The will should state how the deceased wants the estate property disposed of. It should also name an executor or executrix and will usually allow  him or her to serve without “probate bond” (a promise that the executor will follow the rules of the probate process).

Intestate Estate 

If your loved one dies without a will or the family cannot find a will, you will need to open an “intestate” estate. In an intestate estate, your loved one’s property will be distributed according to Ohio law. This Ohio revised code section is titled “Statute of descent and distribution.” Some common scenarios are:

  • If there is no surviving spouse, to the children or their descendants equally.
  • If there is a surviving spouse and surviving children, and the surviving spouse and decedent are the kids’ biological parents, everything will go to the surviving spouse.
  • If there are no children or lineal descendants, everything will go to the surviving spouse.

The person in charge of an intestate estate is called an Administrator. The Administrator will likely be required to obtain a probate bond. The bond usually costs $100 for every $20,000 in personal property. If the estate includes real property, the bond amount is usually twice the amount of the real property.

In some cases, the probate process can be simplified. Some common examples are:

  • Real estate transfer only.
  • Small Estates (Estates less than $35,000.00)


In Ohio, a county probate court also has jurisdiction over adoptions, marriage licenses, and guardianship cases for adults.

Guardianships in Ohio are broken into two different kinds:

  • Guardian of the person
  • Guardian of the estate

A guardian of the person is in charge of making the medical decisions for the ward (the person who is under guardianship). This type of guardian can be used to decide where the ward should live, schedule doctor’s appointments, etc.

A guardian of the estate oversees financial decisions for the ward. In doing so, they must act in the ward’s best interests. Applying for or defending a guardianship application can be a stressful time for the proposed ward and their family. 

Mendenhall Law Group can guide you or your loved one through this difficult time. For more information about our services, call us at 330.535.9160.