Jan 9, 2015
When a person dies, some assets automatically transfer to named beneficiaries like life insurance or investment accounts; others can transfer outside of probate, such as joint and survivorship real estate or property recorded to transfer on death. All other property, real or personal, must be transferred through Probate court. This is known as “probating the estate.” Once Probate receives a request to open and administer an estate, the Court appoints a “fiduciary” to handle the affairs of the deceased person.
The fiduciary first inventories the decedent’s assets and liabilities to ensure that property is properly collected, managed, and fairly distributed among the creditors and their heirs and/or beneficiaries, according to the directions of the decedent and/or the laws of Ohio.
Naming a fiduciary to administer the estate, hiring an attorney, probating the Will, and handling all of the financial responsibilities can be a daunting process. Due to the complexity of the law and the legal issues that may be involved in estate administration, the Court recommends that all fiduciaries seek legal counsel. Good legal advice and guidance can expedite probate and prevent costly errors.
Straight Talk About Probate
Straight Talk About Probate is an informational sheet defining terms related to filing an Estate.
The Value of the Estate’s Assets Determines the Type of Estate Filing
The types of estate filing include:
Short Form Release from Administration
When the deceased person’s estate is valued at $4,500 or less, and the funeral bill is paid, click on the following Short Form Release from Administration.
Summary Release from Administration
When the deceased person’s estate is valued under the lesser of $5,000 or the amount of decedent’s funeral and burial expenses and the applicant has paid the funeral bill (or is obliged in writing to pay the funeral bill), or there is a surviving spouse, assets are under $45,000, and the decedent’s funeral and burial expenses have been prepaid, paid by the surviving spouse (or the spouse is obligated in writing to pay the funeral bill), follow the instructions for a Summary Release from Administration.
Release from Administration
When there is no surviving spouse and assets are under $35,000 or there is a surviving spouse and assets are under $100,000, click on the following Release from Administration.
When there is a surviving spouse and assets are over $100,000, or there is no surviving spouse and assets are over $35,000, or a Wrongful Death/Litigation Action has been filed with the Court, click on the following Full Administration of an Estate.
Steps for Full Estate Administration:
- Notice of death and application to administer the estate (probate of Will if one exists).
- Appointment a fiduciary.
- Gathering assets and filing an Inventory. The Inventory is due ninety (90) days after appointment.
- Payment of creditors.
- Filing and payment of estate taxes if required.
- Distribution of assets to beneficiary(s) or heir(s).
- Closing the estate and filing a final account.
- The average estate should be finalized within thirteen months of the date of appointment of the fiduciary. However, where litigation, federal or state tax returns, or creditor disputes exist, the estate may require a longer administration.
Real Estate Transfer Only
Real Estate Appraisal Information
When seeking a real estate appraisal, you may choose one of the following three options:
- Obtain a printout from the County Fiscal Office of the property tax appraisal for the year of the decedent’s death.
- Hire an appraiser from the Court’s Appraiser’s List.
- For an appraiser not on the Appraiser’s List, please provide the appraiser’s certification/documentation along with Form 3.0 – Appointment of Appraiser.
NOTE: Probate Court does not promote or recommend a specific appraiser and has not verified the background, qualifications, experience, or business practices of any appraiser on the following list. It is your responsibility to verify the individual appraiser chosen for your real estate appraisal.
Court Appraiser’s List
Procedure for changing a property’s tax value from the existing Auditor’s value to an Appraised value
- Contact an attorney to file a “Motion & Order to Vacate the Judgement Entry, Dispensing with the Appraisal.”
- Once the Order has been approved, the next step is to file Form 3.0 Appointment of Appraiser.
- After the appraiser has been appointed, have the real estate in question appraised.
- Once the written appraisal is received, file it along with Form 6.0 Inventory with Appraisal and Form 6.1 Schedule of Assets..
Should questions arise, call the Accounts Department at 330.643.2337 or 330.643.2338.