Executor of Estate Law in Ohio

By Bernadette A. Safrath

An executor is the person appointed, in your will, to administer your estate after your death. Your executor should be someone you trust to disburse your property to your beneficiaries according to your wishes. While you are free to name your executor, Ohio law does set forth certain requirements to ensure the probate process goes smoothly. The probate court must approve the executor before he starts work. If you do not have a will, the court will appoint an administrator. Collectively, executors and administrators are referred to as personal representatives.

Requirements

The Ohio Code provides that an executor must be mentally competent, no less than 18 years old and be bonded. This means that he must obtain a bond from an insurance company while serving as executor. The bond protects beneficiaries in cases where the executor acts inappropriately or makes a mistake with regard to the estate, causing a loss of some or all of the assets. To be bonded, an executor must not have a criminal record and must have an outstanding credit score. The cost of the bond is paid from estate assets. You have the option to waive the bond, which you may choose to do if your chosen executor can't strictly meet the requirements, but you still trust him to serve.

Probate

After you die, the executor must begin probating your estate. In Ohio, if an estate is valued at less than $35,000, the formal administrative requirements are not necessary. For all other estates, probate begins with filing of the will in probate court and seeking appointment as executor. Once appointed, the executor must take possession of, and value, all property in the estate. When the inventory is complete, the executor must submit this list to the Ohio probate court in your county of residence. This task must be completed within three months from appointment as executor, unless the court grants an extension. Before disbursing any property, the executor is responsible for paying debts you owed and collecting debts owed to you. The executor also must notify all creditors of your death. If a creditor has a claim against the estate, he must notify the executor within six months of your death or be barred from recovering. Federal and state income tax returns must be filed and taxes paid prior to April 15. The executor is responsible for preparing and filing a federal estate tax return if the estate is valued at $5,250,000, as of 2013, and paying an amount of tax based on a percentage of the value of the estate. As of December 31, 2012, Ohio no longer levies estate taxes.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan

Beneficiaries

During probate, the executor must identify and locate any heirs named in your will, and notify those beneficiaries of a possible inheritance. If there are any assets left after all outstanding debts are paid, the beneficiaries will be entitled to inherit those assets. The executor is responsible for distributing estate property to beneficiaries in accordance with the wishes established in your will. The executor must then submit a final accounting to the court, setting forth all payments to or disbursements from the estate before the probate case can be closed.

Compensation

Because of the extensive work that goes into administering an estate, an executor can be compensated for his service. Ohio law permits a compensation fee of a certain percentage of the estate -- 1 to 4 percent, depending upon the total value of all the assets in the estate.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan
California Executor Checklist
 

References

Resources

Related articles

Iowa State Laws on Executors

Probate is the process by which your estate is transferred to your beneficiaries after your death. An executor is the person you appointed in your will who is responsible for overseeing the probate process. In Iowa, the executor is also referred to as the personal representative. Your executor has a duty to act in accordance with your wishes and in the best interests of your beneficiaries.

Administrator Responsibilities for Estate Sales Without a Will

When a person dies without a will, the state probate court will appoint an individual to oversee the transfer of his property to any living heirs. This person is referred to as the administrator; it is his job to value all of the deceased person's assets and make sure all outstanding debts and taxes are paid before distributing any property.

How to Prove an Estate Is Insolvent in Connecticut

When a person dies, his or her debts do not simply go “poof” and disappear. If an estate has any assets, all debts must be paid before beneficiaries can inherit anything. If the estate can’t pay its debts, it will be judged insolvent. You don’t necessarily need a lawyer to probate an estate in Connecticut. However, the procedures for settling an insolvent estate can be cumbersome.

LegalZoom. Legal help is here. Start Here. Wills. Trusts. Attorney help.

Related articles

Can the Executor of a Will Spend the Money Any Way He Wants?

When someone dies and leaves a will, the will instructs how the deceased's property should be distributed. Likely, it ...

What Happens When an Executor of a Will Doesn't Carry Out What the Will Asks For?

A last will and testament represents the final wishes of a deceased person, and laws are in place to ensure that the ...

Who Enforces the Execution of a Will?

In drafting your will, you may appoint a person to serve as your executor, also known as a personal representative. ...

What Can I Do if the Executor of the Estate Doesn't Pay Me as an Heir?

You are due an inheritance, but you have a problem with the way the executor is doing his job. Depending on the estate ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED