In Ohio, an estate will require full administration if the value of the Probate Assets are
- In excess of $100,000 if there is a surviving spouse, or
- In excess of $35,000 if there is no surviving spouse.
The probate process for a full administration is not particularly onerous. It does require steps to be taken in a certain order, and within certain deadlines.
In broad terms, a full administration includes presentation of the Will, and appointment of either the executor (if there is a Will), or administrator (if there is no Will).
The executor (or administrator) then
- secures the decedent’s property;
- reports what property is under the executor’s control;
- pays any debts and bills;
- pays any death taxes if necessary;
- distributes the property in accordance with the Will, or if none, in accordance with the laws of the State of Ohio; and
- reports to the court as to what has taken place.
If no estate tax return is required, the full administration process is supposed to be completed within 6 months after the estate is opened. Usually, a creditor has 6 months after the date of death to present a claim against the estate. Since an estate is not usually opened until sometime after the date of death, the 6 month period of time envisions closing the estate shortly after the time has expired for presentment of claims. But as a practical matter, administration may take longer, especially if there is real estate that needs to be sold rather than distributed. If an estate tax return is required, a full administration is supposed to be completed in 13 months. This is because the estate tax return is due 9 months after the date of death, and some time is required to finalize it after it is filed.
If you need help first in determining if an administration is required, and if so, help in getting you through the process, we would be happy to help you, if you contact us.