Ohio Probate


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Ohio Probate FAQs

Does every estate in Ohio have to go through probate?

No, not all estates must go through probate. In fact, if your estate solely consists of one of the following, you may not need to go through probate at all:

  • Survivorship deed (property automatically transferred to surviving owner)
  • Assets held by a married couple
  • Assets given a beneficiary designation
  •  Payouts of an insurance policy to named beneficiary
  •  Real estate that has on file an Ohio transfer on death designation affidavit
  • Very small estates of less than $5,000 or the cost of funeral

For more please click here.

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What can survivors do to simplify the probate process?

A: Surviving family members can apply for a Release From Administration packet. This will make the proceedings significantly shorter if any of the following apply:

  • The surviving spouse inherits the entire estate and the value is less than $100,000.
  • The entire estate is less than $35,000.

For more please click here.

What Is Release from Administration in Ohio Probate?

What are executors and administrators?

The person named the will as executor of the estate is responsible for taking care of the probate proceedings.  Where there is no will, that person named by the court to do the same thing is referred to as the administrator. Collectively they are called fiduciaries.

The fiduciary’s responsibilities are as follows:

  • Provide valid will to the court when applicable
  • Identify all next of kin and named beneficiaries
  • Make an inventory of all the assets of the deceased and ensure their safety
  • Discover and identify all debts
  • Have an appraisal of all assets
  • Ensure all debts and taxes are paid from the estate
  • Oversee the distribution of assets to beneficiaries
  • Keep detailed records of activities

For more please click here.

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How much does probate typically cost?

Court costs for probate cases are normally not more than $350. Executors can take a fee for themselves, 4% for the first $100,000 in assets, 3% for the next $300,000 and 2% for everything above $400,000.  Family members serving as executors occasionally choose not to take this fee. Attorney fees can be charged hourly or as a percentage of the total assets. A rough estimate of the attorney fees can be gathered by calculating 3-4% of the total assets.  Probate attorney and fiduciary fees cannot be charged until the conclusion of the probate matter, and are in most instances paid from the estate assets.

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How long does probate last?

Probate usually takes at least six months to a year; this gives creditors time to come forward  and also simplifies taxes.

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Probate Court in Ohio: Can You Do It on Your Own?

Can a will in probate be contested?

Wills in probate can be contested if there is reason to believe the person was not of sound mind when the will was made or was under undue influence by another.

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What happens when there’s not a will?

Where there is no will it is called an Intestate probate and any next of kin may apply to be administrator, or they may choose to ask an attorney to serve. Beneficiaries are those found using the Ohio Statute of Descent and Distribution: surviving spouse, then children, then grandchildren, then siblings, then parents.

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