Release From Administration
In an estate where there is a surviving spouse who inherits the entire estate and the gross estate is less than $100,000 or if someone other than the surviving spouse inherits and the entire gross estate is less than $35,000 the estate may be eligible to be Released From Administration.
Ohio Revised Code 2113.01 requires the appointment of a fiduciary and the issuance of testamentary letters when an estate is opened in the probate court of the county of the decedent's residence. Ohio Revised Code 2113.03 relieves an interested party who is bringing the estate before the appropriate probate court, of the requirements of Ohio Revised Code 2113.01, if certain prerequisites are met.
- The statutory monetary limits have been met, (See Release From Administration Guidelines Below)
- All probate assets must be reported on the initial application filed with the Court as the Court will not approve the release of partial assets,
- All interested parties (next of kin, beneficiaries under the Will, and creditors) must be given notice of the filing of the application for release from administration and/or any hearing set on the matter, and
- The decedent's creditors will not be prejudiced by approval of the application.
There are three packets of forms used in the Release From Administration Department:
- The monetary limit is currently $100,000 for the surviving spouse and $35,000 for any one else.
- Where there is a surviving spouse there must be proof of a valid marriage under Ohio Revised Code 3101.
- When there is a surviving spouse, the surviving spouse must receive all of the estate according to the decedent's Will, or Ohio Revised Code 2105.06 (intestacy), Ohio Revised Code 2106.13 (family allowance which is currently $40,000).
- This does not include intestate (no Will) estates where there is real estate that is not the mansion house (see Ohio Revised Code 2106.10) or adjoining real property and the surviving spouse is not the parent of the decedent's children and/or the decedent's interest in the mansion house exceeds the surviving spouse's monetary share.
Summary Release from Administration
- A person who is not the surviving spouse of the decedent who has paid or is obligated in writing to pay the decedent's funeral and burial expenses may apply for an order granting summary release from administration if the value of the assets does not exceed the lesser of $5,000 or the amount of the decedent's funeral and burial expenses.
- Where there is a surviving spouse who is entitled to all of the assets of the estate and the total assets are less than $40,000, the assets can be transferred to the surviving spouse by a summary administration. In addition, if the surviving spouse has paid or is obligated in writing to pay the decedent's funeral and burial expenses, an additional amount, the lesser of $5,000 or the amount of the decedent's funeral and burial expenses may be claimed by the surviving spouse for a maximum of $45,000.
Real Estate Only
- When the decedent died owning an interest in real estate, and
- the transfer of the decedent's real estate is based on the Statute of Descent and Distribution (Ohio Revised Code 2105.06), or Family Allowance (Ohio Revised Code 2106.13), or the decedent's Will, and
- the decedent's date of death was longer than six months ago and no creditors have filed claims against the estate.
Release From Administration Questions
These questions are frequently asked to determine which packet of forms should be filed with the Court.
- Is there a Will? (The original Will must be filed with the Court)
- Who are the beneficiaries named in the Will?
- Is there a surviving spouse?
- Who are the next of kin? (Ohio Revised Code 2105.06)
- What is the total value of the assets in the probate estate?
- What are the probate assets?
- Has the funeral bill been paid?
- Who paid the funeral bill?
- Are there any other debts?
What You Need To Bring into the Probate Court
- Your government issued picture identification card
- Original Will of the decedent
- Complete packet of forms
- Certified copy of the death certificate
- Proof of funeral home payment in full
- In cases where the value of the assets is over $35,000, the surviving spouse will need to provide a certified copy of the marriage abstract (if there is no Will)
- Verification of the existence of asset(s) in the decedents name:
- Bank Statements
- Copy of Ohio Certificate of Title to vehicles (includes mobile homes, trailers, boats, motors and motorcycles)
- Deed to real property
- Last paycheck
- Stocks and/or Bonds
Court costs start at $113. Payment must be made by cash, certified check, cashier's check, money order or attorney's check. Personal checks, credit and/or debit cards are NOT accepted. If a hearing is required, a $10 charge; for publication of the hearing date is added to the court costs.
Release From Administration Guidelines:
|Date of Death||Beneficiaries||Assets|
|1967 to 12-03-1972||Any||Not to exceed $5,000|
|12-03-1971 to 01-01-1976||Any||Not to exceed $5,000|
|01-01-1976 hru 11-09-1994||Any||Not to exceed $15,000|
|10-20-1987 thru 11-09-1994||Any||Not to exceed $25,000|
|Subsequent to 11-09-1994||Any||Not to exceed $35,000|
|04-16-1993 thru 09-13-1993||*All to surviving spouse||Not to exceed $50,000|
|09-14-1993 thru 11-09-1994||*All to surviving spouse||Not to exceed $85,000|
|Subsequent to 11-09-1994||*All to surviving spouse||Not to exceed $85,000|
|Subsequent to 03-18-1999||*All to surviving spouse||Not to exceed $100,000|
*All of the assets must go to the surviving spouse pursuant to the decedent's Will, or the family allowance, or intestacy under Ohio Revised Code 2105.06 and there must be a marriage pursuant to Ohio Revised Code 3101. This does not include common law marriages under Ohio Revised Code 3105.12.
This also does not include intestate estates, which contain real property that is not the mansion house or adjoining property when the decedent has children. And it does not include intestate estates where the value of the decedent's interest in the mansion house exceeds the surviving spouse's monetary share of the estate.
Legal Practice in the Probate Court
Legal practice in the Probate Court is restricted by law to attorneys who are licensed by the Supreme Court of Ohio. Due to the complexity of the law and desire to avoid costly errors, most individuals who have filings before the Court are represented by an attorney. Court employees are prohibited by statute from practicing law and cannot give legal advice.