The Franklin County Probate Court Resource Center was created 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:
Make an Appointment
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
You may call 614-525-7251
and leave a message for a Resource Center attorney. You will receive a return call within three business days. All consultations are completed by phone.
Resource center hours may vary.
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.
- 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, have the will available to discuss the contents with the attorney. Time limits may apply to summary administration proceedings.
- 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, obtain the most recent deed from the Franklin County Recorder’s Office. If the person who died had a will, have the will available to discuss the contents with the attorney.
- 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. If the person who died had a will, have the will available to discuss the contents with the attorney.
- 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.
- Limited Guardianship for Mental Health Care Purposes Packet.
- Application to Probate a Will – complete the application to probate will if assets are distributed according to the will.
- Application to File Will for Record Only – complete the application to file a will for record only if appropriate.
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. Money orders, certified checks or cashier’s checks should be made payable to: The Franklin County Probate Court.
Filings should be mailed to: The Franklin County Probate Court, 373 S. High Street, 22nd
Floor, Columbus, Ohio, 43215-6311, or may be placed in the Probate Court Drop Box located in the government complex lobby for 373 S. High Street, on the southwest corner of Mound Street and High Street, at the security checkpoint behind the Benjamin Franklin Statute. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, in-person filings are not available at this time.
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.
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.