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Probate & Estate Planning Attorney in Shaker Heights, Ohio

We provide all probate and estate planning services for people in and around Shaker Heights, Ohio, including wills, trusts, guardianships, conservatorships, and other essential estate planning instruments such as living wills, health care powers of attorney, financial powers of attorney, durable powers of attorney, and other advanced directive documents as well as make provisions to protect assets from Medicaid and another governmental recovery when possible and other long-term elder care strategies.

We also provide legal services relative to collecting and managing life insurance and other death benefit proceeds, securing appraisals and valuations of property, finding and securing assets, advising on and attempting to settle a decedent’s debts, preparing and filing documents as required by a probate court, managing an estate’s finances/checkbook, and determining whether estate, income or other taxes are due.

Guidance in the Probate Process


Elements of an Estate Plan

No matter your age, income, background, or how big your house is, it is always important to have a secure, thorough estate plan in place. If you pass away with an estate plan, your loved ones will have a much easier time validating your wills and trusts and distributing your assets to your loved ones. There are 3 major elements to an estate plan: wills, trusts, and power of attorney.


Wills are legal documents that will communicate your final wishes pertaining to your assets and dependents. In other words, it states where you want your assets to go and who you want to take care of your children should you pass before you become adults.


Trusts are very similar to wills in the idea that it's a document that lays out in writing how you want your assets to be distributed. One of the major differences between wills and trusts is that trusts can come into play before you pass away, while wills are only implemented after your passing.

Powers of Attorney

This document entitles one person to act on your behalf for matters involving property distribution, finances, and medical care.

If you need to establish a will, trust, power of attorney, or all of the above, call attorney Sam Thomas in Shaker Heights, Ohio for compassionate, thorough representation and guidance.