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Resource Center

The Franklin County Probate Court Resource Center was created in 2019 by Judge Robert G. Montgomery to provide limited legal assistance to individuals who are handling simple probate matters but cannot afford a lawyer.

If you qualify to participate in Resource Center services, you will receive free, one-on-one, legal assistance from a lawyer.

The Resource Center may be able to help you with the following types of cases:
  1. Small Estates.  The Resource Center can help you transfer assets to the heirs of a small estate.  A small estate has assets totaling less than $35,000 for people not married at the time of death and less than $100,000 for people who were married at the time of death.
  2. Real Estate Transfer Only.  We can assist if the only asset in the estate is a single or multiple pieces of real estate, even if the real estate has a value over $100,000, and six months have passed since the date of death.
  3. Adult Name Changes.  If the adult name change packet or the probate clerk cannot answer your name change questions, the clerk might refer you to the Resource Center.
  4. Limited Guardianships for Mental Health Care Purposes.   Some people with mental health issues are not able to make their own decisions about their medication and treatment.  The Resource Center may be able to answer questions to help you initiate proceedings to be named a guardian to make treatment decisions in these cases.  If a person is having difficulties with finances or other activities of daily living, a limited guardianship may not be appropriate. 
Make an Appointment
The Resource Center is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  Although we do our best to accommodate walk-in appointments, it is strongly suggested that you schedule an appointment.  Call the Probate Court receptionist at:  614-525-3894 to reserve a date and time to discuss your matter. 
Resource Center hours may vary during national holidays.

How to Prepare for your Appointment
Print the packet below that applies to your case and complete as much information as possible before your appointment.  Bring the completed forms with you to your appointment.  If the matter involves a death, bring in the death certificate.
  1. Summary Administration Packet – for estates with $5,000 or less if the person who died was not married at the time of death, or $40,000 or less if the person who died was married at the time of death.  If the person who died had a will, bring the will.  Time limits may apply to summary administration proceedings.
  2. Release from Administration Packet –  for larger estates with assets totaling less than $35,000 for people not married at the time of death and less than $100,000 for people who were married at the time of death.  If any of the assets are real estate, bring the most recent deed.  If the person who died had a will, bring the will.
  3. Real Estate Transfer Only – used when the only asset of the person who died is real estate.  Before your appointment, obtain the most recent deed from the Franklin County Recorder's Office, located in the same building as the probate court on the 18th floor.  If the person who died had a will, bring the will.
  4. Adult Name Change Packet – complete the packet and bring to the probate court for filing, or file for a name change on-line.  Instructions for online filing can be found here.  If you have questions about your adult name change that the clerk cannot answer, you may be referred to the Resource Center for an appointment. 
  5. Limited Guardianship for Mental Health Care Purposes Packet.
 Additional Information
The legal advice is free, but the filing fees are not.  You should be prepared to pay filing fees which, in most cases, are $150 or less.  Cash or credit cards are accepted.
The Resource Center is not able to give legal advice concerning contested matters.
The Resource Center cannot provide legal advice on matters not directly related to the case types listed above.
Bring a government issued photo ID to your appointment.

Survey
We always want to improve our service to the residents of Franklin County.  After your appointment, please complete the survey found here.
 
Please note that the Resource Center is staffed by attorneys licensed to practice law in the State of Ohio.  Resource Center attorneys are NOT employees of the Franklin County Probate Court.