James Jeffrey Jackson

Helping people find solutions for their financial future.
  • Bankruptcy, Divorce, Probate...
  • Ohio
Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&A
Practice Areas
  • Bankruptcy
  • Divorce
  • Probate
  • Estate Planning
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
Capital University Law School
J.D. (2004)
Professional Associations
State Bar of Ohio # 0078696
Websites & Blogs
Delaware Ohio Probate and Estate Planning Attorney
Legal Answers
18 Questions Answered

Q. Should executor pay rent as exclusive user of vacation home in probate?
A: If your family has an interest in the estate, hire an attorney. If your concerned about your relatives, tell them to hire an attorney.
Q. I am divorced with 2 children: (6-30-99) & (8-4-02). I need a good will at no cost. Advice?
A: Unfortunately you get what you pay for. A no cost will may not be very good. Fist of all, there are statutory requirements for determining if a will is valid. Secondly, you want to make sure your will accomplishes your goals. Spend the money for a quality will.
Q. Can a credit card company that has begun the process of suing,be excluded from a bankruptcy filing?
A: Your duty is to list ALL of your assets and ALL of your Creditors. When you sign the bankruptcy petition and schedules you are stating that the information is true and correct to the best of your knowledge. That is one of the first questions the trustee asks you, under oath, when you attend the Section 341 meeting of creditors. IF you fail to list them and the trustee is able to pursue any of your assets, like a tax refund or other property you can't protect with your exemptions, the unlisted creditor will not be discharged. You want to list them and get your case filed before the Creditor obtains a judgment because once they have a judgment they can place a lien on your property.
Q. Do you need to open a new bank account for the 'estate/trust' once you are out of probate in order to distribute funds?
A: It sounds to me like you should consult with another attorney. In order for the probate estate to be closed, the executor/administrator must submit a final account to the probate court. That final account indicates that all of the assets have been gathered, bills paid, and distributions made to the beneficiaries. The estate account should have a "zero" balance because everything has been taken care of. If you still have estate assets/funds, then the estate should not have been closed.
Q. Spouse was killed in a crash. I settled with the offender's insurance company & will be receiving a check.
A: You need to consult with an attorney! Based on the information you have provided, it sounds like the settlement funds are assets of the decedent's estate. Keep in mind that a will has no power unless it is admitted and approved by the probate court. The executor named in the will has no power until the probate court grants them power. If you have not opened the probate estate, you are not the executor and you will not be able to do anything with the settlement check. The executor, with powers granted by the probate court, is the fiduciary of the decedent's estate, meaning you are managing the estate. If the settlement check is payable to "Jane Doe as the executor of the estate", or to the "estate of the decedent" it is an estate asset. You really should consult with your attorney. If you don't have an attorney please consult with with one.
Q. Elderly parent recently died, had will. Understand all cases are different, but how long does probate usually take?
A: You are correct that all probate estate cases are different. In Ohio, depending on the nature of the estate, it is possible to obtain a release from administration if the value of the estate assets is small, you can check the county probate court guidelines to learn more. Otherwise, most probate estate cases take anywhere from 6 months to a couple of years. A lot depends on the size and complexity of the case, including creditors of the decedent, and how efficiently the executor works. Another factor to consider is whether or not the estate has real estate to be sold. You should consult with a local probate estate attorney.
Q. How is half ownership on a house used in bankruptcy?
A: As Timothy pointed out, in Ohio you do have an exemption in the equity of your house of approximately $136,000, but there are a number of things that could be wrong with your deed and mortgage that might put your home at risk. Please do not file your case without consulting and experienced bankruptcy attorney.
Q. No will, determining next of kin
A: Based on the information you provided, the estate would pass in accordance with the state's statute of descent and distribution, in Ohio that would be Section 2105. It sounds like your specific situation would make 2105.12 the appropriate section. You should contact a local probate attorney to further review your specific situation. There is a possibility of an unknown child of the decedent that might have a superior right. You want to make sure you cover all of the bases.
Q. How does the bankruptcy means test work?
A: The bankruptcy means test is only one part of qualifying for a Chapter 7 case. The first step is convert your income from the past 6 full months to annual income and compare it with the IRS standards for similar household. If your income is less than the IRS standard you are considered below median income and you pass. If your income is over, that does not necessarily mean you don't qualify to file a Chapter 7. The next step is to take a deeper look at your income, deductions, and secured expenses to see if you could make a meaningful Chapter 13 Plan Payment. If you can't make a meaningful plan payment, then you qualify to file Chapter 7 even though you did not pass the means test. The means test calculations are not straightforward. Consult with a local bankruptcy attorney in your area to find out if you qualify to file a Chapter 7.
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Contact & Map
The Law Office of James Jeffrey Jackson
103 N. Union Street
Suite B
Delaware, OH 43015
Telephone: (740) 369-6812