In Ohio, after an owner’s passing, property and assets in his or her estate must be distributed, sometimes through a process known as probate. Probate is common in the state of Ohio and happens in a lot (but not all) instances of administering estates. Even though the probate process is similar to other states, there seems to be questions from those going through it, especially about the average cost of probate in Ohio. Cost will vary and depend on a number of things such as:
How big/complex an estate may be
If any heirs contest the Will
Which (if any) Estate Plans are in place
Whether or not a probate attorney is retained to help
Common Probate Fees in Ohio
While the final cost of probate can vary, there are some fees that are pretty much a given, including:
Miscellaneous court fees
Various filing fees
If used, attorney fees
Personal Representative (Executor) compensation - Ohio sets compensation by statute; fees can range from two to four percent
Administrator/Executor/Probate Bonds - generally required by Ohio county courts
Various professional fees
Common Questions About Probate in Ohio
How Long Does Probate Take in Ohio?
Probate typically takes about nine months to close in Ohio. Some cases (where estates are vast or complicated) can take longer.
How Much Does a Probate Lawyer Cost in Ohio?
Since probate lawyer fees in Ohio aren’t set in stone, it’s difficult to offer a hard number you can count on in regards to a fee. Ohio doesn’t set attorney fees by statute, but they must be “reasonable” per the state Supreme Court. Many lawyers charge by the hour, while others bill a flat rate.
How to Avoid Probate in Ohio?
A lot of Ohioans want to avoid probate, and they have good reason. Probate can be difficult, and expensive, and time-consuming - not to mention stressful. If you’re looking to avoid probate in Ohio, you may want to consider the following:
Establish a Revocable Living Trust
Title property as Joint Tenancy; Community Property With Right of Survivorship; Tenancy by the Entirety
Open accounts and name assets as TOD or POD (Transfer on Death; Payable on Death)
Ensure your beneficiaries are always up-to-date (and be sure to list contingent beneficiaries)
If an estate doesn’t meet or exceed Ohio’s “small estate” threshold, it can potentially avoid probate or go through a quicker, easier version of the process.
What is Considered a Small Estate in Ohio?
If an estate is valued at less than $35,000, in Ohio you can use a summary probate procedure. Note that the state does not have an Affidavit procedure for small estates.
Who Pays Probate Fees in Ohio?
Virtually all probate costs, including probate attorney fees in Ohio, are paid for out of the estate.