1. 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 property.

    The Probate Court oversees the collection, maintenance and distribution of the probate property. This process is called the estate administration.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 advice.

[Return to Top]