- What is an estate administration?
When a person dies, they may own both probate and non-probate
assets. Non-probate assets are transferred by contract
such as joint and survivorship property or payable on
death accounts. Probate assets include property that requires
an order from the Probate Court in order to transfer the
The Probate Court oversees the collection, maintenance
and distribution of the probate property. This process
is called the estate administration.
- Do I need a lawyer?
In many cases there are complex legal matters which require
a lawyer. Good legal advice can expedite the probate process,
and prevent costly errors. It is therefore recommended
that individuals seek legal counsel prior to the administration
of an estate.
- How are attorney fees determined?
There is no minimum or percentage fees for an attorney.
The fee is a matter between the Executor or Administrator,
the attorney and others affected by the payment. Fees
are calculated by records stating the date and time expended,
who performed the service, the nature of the service performed
and the hourly rate.
If the parties do not agree, the reasonableness of the
fee is determined by the Probate Court.
- How long should it take to administer an estate?
The law states that an estate should be closed within
six (6) months of the appointment of an Executor or Administrator.
However, in the event that there is litigation, tax returns
subject to audit, unpaid creditors, or other complications,
the estate could remain open for a longer period.
- How much can the Court help me with the administration
of the estate?
Legal practice in the Probate Court is restricted by
law to attorneys licensed by the Supreme Court of Ohio.
An individual may handle his or her own case but may not
represent others. Probate Court employees are prohibited
by law from practicing law and therefore cannot give legal