A probate estate is a legal proceeding provided for by Ohio law to determine the assets of a deceased person who was an Ohio resident at the time of death, the value of those assets, and the distribution of those assets to the persons entitled to them by law.
The probating of an estate requires the appointment by the Probate Court of a suitable person to supervise the administration of the estate. The person appointed is called an executor, if named in a will, or an administrator, if there is no will.
The executor or administrator may be an individual, a bank, or trust company.
The duties of an executor or administrator are:
- To determine the names, ages, and degree of relationship of heirs;
- To take possession of, and conserve all of the real and personal property of the decedent;
- To file with the Probate Court an inventory of all the assets held in the name of the decedent;
- To receive and determine the validity of all claims against the decedent’s estate;
- To file tax returns and to pay income and estate taxes;
- To make distribution of the estate’s assets to the proper persons;
- To file an account of all receipts and disbursements made by the executor or administrator with the Probate Court.
If the total value of all property in the decedent’s name is $35,000 or less, the estate can be relieved from the administration requirements.