Estate Administration

Probate of decedent’s estate.  Transfer of assets to beneficiaries.  Preparation of estate and trust income tax returns. 

Estate administration services include both probate and non-probate matters. Even if an estate has no probate assets, there may be other administration issues such as transferring title of vehicles, payment of debts, and proper distribution of assets – either directly to beneficiaries or through a trust.

Under Ohio law, most probate estates must be closed within 6 months. Also, the total court costs for an Ohio probate estate, regardless of the size of the estate, average about $200 to $250.

My goal in estate administration is to assist you with dealing with the law and simplifying matters as much as possible. For example, I prepare all probate forms and can gather information about assets and asset valuations. I assist with transferring title of assets, including real estate, cars, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, stocks, and mutual funds. And I can prepare various tax returns such as the decedent’s final form 1040 and trust and estate income tax returns.

I usually charge a flat fee for estate administration services rather than an hourly or percentage fee. The fee is based on the value of my services and is determined after I have an opportunity to review the estate. Some of the considerations are the size and complexity of the estate and the type of assets involved. For example, it takes a lot more work to transfer title of stock where the decedent held all the original certificates rather than having everything in a brokerage account.

The Ohio Supreme Court requires that payment of fees for probate estates not be made until the final account is prepared to file with the probate court.