Probate Attorney Franklin County Ohio

Estate Administration | Departments

Estate Administration Information (614) 525-3896
Appointment of Fiduciaries (614) 525-7412
Accounts (614) 525-3844

Estate administration is the process by which a person's assets are collected, maintained, and distributed among creditors, heirs and beneficiaries according to the person's will and the laws of Ohio.

When an individual dies, some of the person's assets may be transferred by trust, joint and survivorship property, payable on death accounts, transfer on death property, and beneficiaries named under life insurance and retirement benefits. These are non-probate assets. Other assets must be transferred through proceedings in probate court and these are called probate assets. Most people die owning both probate and non-probate assets.

Court Costs

Full Administration Required Deposit $125.00 (recommended deposit is $250.00)
Ancillary Administration Deposit $125.00
Wrongful Death Deposit $145.00
Probate Only $ 83.00
Probate Only with Real Estate & Tax $ 91.00
Tax Only $ 69.00 (plus $1.00 per page if over 4 pages)
Will for Record Only $ 73.00
Will for Record Only with Taxes $ 74.00 (plus $1.00 per page if over 4 pages)
Real Estate Transfer Only $ 75.00
Real Estate Transfer & Tax $ 76.00 (plus $1.00 per page if over 4 pages)
Foreign Record $ 78.00 (plus $1.00 per page)
Inventory Safe Deposit Box $ 16.00 - $36.00
Trust Application $113.00 (additional costs may apply)
Accepting Jurisdiction of Trust
  • Payment must be made by cash, certified check, cashier's check, money order, attorney's check or credit/debit card. Personal checks are NOT accepted

How does the probate process begin?

After the death of an individual, the probate process begins by any interested person filing an application to administer the estate in the county in which the decedent lived. The court will appoint an estate representative, called a fiduciary. The fiduciary is responsible for administering the decedent's estate and accounting to the court for that administration. A bond may be required of the fiduciary to protect the beneficiaries and creditors of the estate and to insure proper administration of the estate's probate assets .

How are fiduciary fees determined?

Ohio law sets forth fees for a fiduciary of an estate as follows:

  • 4% of the first $100, 000 of personal property, income, and proceeds of real estate sold;
  • 3% of the next $300, 000;
  • 2% of the balance;
  • 1% of the value of real estate not sold; and
  • For dates of death after 2012, 1% of all property that is not subject to probate administration except joint and survivorship property.

The fiduciary may waive the fee. Additional fees can be awarded for extraordinary services.

Does a fiduciary need an attorney?

Due to the complexity of the law and the legal issues that can arise in estate administration, the court strongly recommends that all fiduciaries retain legal counsel.

How are attorney fees determined?

There is no minimum fee or percentage fee for the attorney. In Franklin County, the fee is primarily a matter between the fiduciary, the attorney, and others affected by the fee. However, the court must approve all attorney fees.

How long should it take to administer an estate?

The time it takes to administer an estate depends on each estate's circumstances. Some estates are administered in six to nine months. If an estate return is required, administration may take a year or longer.

What are the steps of an estate administration?

The basic steps of administration are as follows:

  1. filing of an application for authority to administer the estate and admit the will to probate, if one exists;
  2. appointment of fiduciary;
  3. gathering assets and obtaining appraisals as required;
  4. filing an inventory of assets;
  5. paying creditors;
  6. filing estate and income tax returns and paying taxes, if any;
  7. distributing remaining assets to beneficiaries;
  8. filing accounts; and
  9. closing the estate.
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