A Summary of Ohio Probate Laws

Whether a decedent had a valid Will or not, the probate process happens in the state of Ohio. The process begins, as any probate lawyer in Cincinnati is well aware, when the court appoints a person who can take care of the estate and its administration. In most cases, the decedent will have already chosen a personal representative to administer the Will.

Probate With A Will And Without

If the decedent had a Will, then the court will distribute any and all remaining property according to the dictates of that Will. If there is no valid Will in place, then the court will follow Ohio’s laws of probate to determine what happens with the decedent’s assets.

The first thing the personal representative must do is to collect all of the decedent’s assets. This can be a lengthy and complex process, with accounts of various kinds kept in different places. Assets, ranging from life insurance policies to retirement accounts to trusts and personal property, may or may not fall into the probate process.

The personal representative must also pay any bills associated with the estate. This includes taxes, bills to creditors, administrative costs, and expenses related to the funeral and burial or cremation. Only after all of these costs are paid can the personal representative begin to distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries named in the Will.

If the decedent’s estate is small, Ohio law allows for a expedited, simplified probate processes, which are called “summary release ” and “Relief from administration.”

Also worth considering is the fact that Ohio voted to get rid of its state estate tax in 2013. For more information on “release from administration” as it relates to probate in Ohio, we recommend you consult with a probate lawyer in Cincinnati to ensure your estate is up to date.