John P. Gouttiere’s Practice Areas
John Gouttiere practices in many areas of the law, including Business Law, Real Estate Law, Elder Law, Estate Planning and Probate Law.
Real Estate Law
Real estate law includes not merely the purchase, sale, use of real property and its structures; but it may also involve easements, zoning issues, environmental issues, condominium conversions, the re-drawing of legal boundaries, and riparian rights to name a few of the possible issues in which Mr. Gouttiere has experience.
Estate Planning Law
The process of assisting a party anticipate, plan and prepare for the care of themselves and their loved ones through life’s stages, and planning the best use of the clients’ assets and various strategies and devices to meet a clients’ current needs and goals, as well as after the clients’ need for such resources is fulfilled.
Planning includes the use of a Last Will and Testament and, as appropriate, the use of trusts, as well as Durable Powers of Attorney for Financial Affairs and other specific purposes as dictated by the needs of the client.
All estate planning includes a discussion of Living Wills and Durable Powers of Attorney for Health Care. The ultimate decision-maker as to an estate plan’s content, whether simple or complex, is the client and their particular needs.
This area of practice focuses on an array of issues affecting generally the elderly, disabled, and/or frail and not uncommonly, the immediate members of their family. The matters addressed often involve the issues of Medicare (government-sponsored health insurance), Medicaid (welfare benefits for the elderly or disabled), disability, long-term care issues, guardianships, and estate planning and administration-related issues.
Probate Law concerns the process of administering the estate of the decedent; that is winding up the business or financial aspects of the decedent’s life, which involves locating all of the decedent’s assets, resolving all of the claims against the decedent or his estate, and the proper disposition or distribution of decedent’s property in accordance with the terms of his Last Will & Testament, or in accordance with the State’s Laws of Descent and Distribution in those instances where the decedent had no valid Will, or other proper provision for the disposition of his assets.
In Ohio, it is the Probate Court that determines the validity of the decedent’s Last Will, and oversees the administration of the estate by the Executor or Administrator.
The Court’s act of determining the validity of the Last Will and Testament of the testator (the person who’s Will it is) is known as probating the Will. The Court also officially appoints a “business manager”, typically designated Executor, if the candidate is named in the Last Will. In the event that none of the parties named in the Will qualifies, the Court, in that case, will appoint an Administrator.
Subject to the terms of the Will and statutory law, and the supervision of the Court, the Executor has the authority to dispose of the estate’s assets, and pay valid claims of the estate before distributing the remainder of the assets of the decedent in accordance with the terms of the Will.