Hottenroth, Garverick, Tilson & Garverick, Co., L.P.A.
Honest And Fair Hometown Attorneys With Decades Of Experience
Call 419-468-5044

November 2013 Archives

If I go to court without a lawyer, won't the Judge protect me?

Judges are required to abide by a number of procedural and other laws and rules. However, they're absolutely forbidden to represent parties in law suits, and they can't give legal advice to unrepresented parties, beyond telling them things like "You have the right to have a lawyer represent you," or "You have the right not to incriminate yourself," etc.
Judges do not participate in fact-gathering for trial purposes, cannot take the side of one party or another in negotiations, and generally have very little knowledge of the facts of a case before the case comes to trial.
So, it is wise for people who are involved in court cases to consult their own lawyers at an early stage. In some kinds of cases, it is possible to resolve a case without having an attorney present for a court hearing, but generally it is advisable for all parties to be represented by counsel in court proceedings.
Our office is available for consultations about court proceedings, and for court representation in appropriate circumstances.

Is probate something to avoid?

Ohio's probate courts serve very important functions, dealing with matters like decedents' estates, guardianships and adoptions. Normally, the question about "avoiding probate" comes up in the context of estate planning. But, probate is not a bad thing. In regard to decedents' estates, probate can be very helpful. It involves a governmentally supervised set of procedures that incorporate many safeguards to help preserve and distribute assets of decedents. The probate procedure is orderly, relatively predictable and generally convenient. In situations where decedents die without close relatives, it can be very beneficial in making sure that appropriate persons are contacted, that persons receive their appropriate inheritances, that the decedent's debts are appropriately paid, etc. Where probate arguably may not be necessary is in situations where a person is survived by a spouse and they don't have particularly complex problems, or in situations in which there is not likely to be any sort of family dispute, etc. Everybody's factual scenario is different from everyone else's, but it is advantageous for some people to use tools that would allow them to transfer property upon a person's death without having to go through a probate procedure. There are a number of tools available to do such transfers, and those include Transfer on Death Designation Affidavits relating to real estate, Payable on Death Accounts at financial institutions, Joint and Survivorship bank accounts, Survivorship real estate deeds, etc. But there is no one set of requirements that apply to every person's situation, and the best recommendation we can give is that people who are concerned about estate planning matters discuss them with their attorneys.
Our office is available for consultations on estate planning and related issues.


Hottenroth, Garverick, Tilson & Garverick, Co., L.P.A.
126 S. Market St.
Galion, OH 44833

Phone: 419-468-5044
Fax: 419-468-1308
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