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Ancillary Probate in Ohio: What is It, and Can You Avoid It?

These days, people move around more than ever. You might buy a house in Dayton, get transferred out of state for work, and continue to rent out the Ohio property. Or you might spend most of your life in Ohio, only to spend your later years living with an adult child in a neighboring state. Whatever the reason, there are many people who live outside of Ohio, but continue to own real property in the state. When they die, that real property needs to be disposed of. Ancillary probate in Ohio is one mechanism to deal with real property whose owner died outside of the state.

Ancillary probate is addressed in Chapter 2129 of the Ohio Revised Code. If a resident of another state dies owning property in Ohio, someone must apply to be appointed ancillary administrator in the county in Ohio where property of the deceased person (decedent) is located. If the decedent had a will, the person named as the executor in the will is generally eligible to serve as the ancillary administrator of the Ohio estate. If the decedent did not have a will (they died intestate), the ancillary administrator must be a resident of the county in which the property is located.

As a practical matter,… Read More

Rental Property in Probate: Four Important Considerations

The Ohio probate process can be daunting to navigate at the best of times, but when the estate includes rental property, the process becomes even more complex. If you are serving as executor or personal representative of an Ohio estate that includes income property, there are some important factors you must take into account. Here are some things you need to consider if you are dealing with rental property in probate.

Consideration #1: How the Property was Titled

If the deceased owned rental property, you, as executor, may need to step in and take action regarding the property, but this depends on how the property was held. If the property was held in trust, it will not need to go through probate at all, and will be managed by the named trustee.

If the property was not held in trust, but was held jointly with another person, the form of ownership will be important in determining what happens next. If the property was held as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, it will not go through probate. The surviving joint tenant(s) will automatically take the deceased person's interest in the property. If the property was held as tenants-in-common, there is no… Read More

Consent Sales of Real Estate Now Permitted in Ohio Guardianship Cases

If you are serving as the guardian over the property of a legally incapacitated adult, you are well aware of the responsibilities involved in managing your ward's property. Under Ohio law, guardians are now able to enter into consent sales of real estate in guardianship cases, if the sale of the ward's interest in real property is in the best interest of the ward. This ability facilitates the process of selling real estate for the ward's benefit.

There are four requirements to allow a consent sale to take place. First, the ward's spouse, if any, and any person entitled to inherit the real property from the incapacitated person must consent to the sale of the property. This consent must be in writing and filed with the probate court. Most county probate courts have specific forms for this purpose.

Second, when all necessary consents are filed, a bond must be executed in an amount that the probate court deems sufficient. Third, the sale of the real property must be at least 80% of the appraised value of the property as determined within the two years prior to the sale.

Lastly, in order for a consent sale of real estate to take place in a guardianship case, nei… Read More

Five Things to Do if You Inherit a Home

Inheriting a family home may be bittersweet: you have the opportunity to carry on family traditions in the family homestead, but the fact that the home is in your hands means that some of the family is no longer there with you. For some people who inherit a home, though, it is more bitter than sweet. The logistical issues of dealing with the property outweigh any happy memories or hopes for future good times there. This is especially true for heirs who left home and moved across the country, only have to deal with their late loved ones' house back in Ohio.

What do you need to do if you inherit your parents' home, or that of another relative? Here are five things to put on your to-do list.

Secure the House and Plan for Maintenance

When you live in a home, you take care of it: mow the lawn, clean the house, repair things that are broken. When a house is unoccupied, the home's exterior and yard can quickly become unkempt, and issues like a leak or a burst pipe that would quickly be dealt with in an occupied home can go unnoticed, leading to significant damage. If possible, try to enlist the help of a trusted neighbor or nearby relative to regularly check on t… Read More

Selling Property in a Probate Case

One of the many duties of an executor or administrator of an estate is the management of the deceased person's property. Sometimes, that management involves the sale of property. How, exactly, does one go about selling property in probate that belongs to a decedent's estate?

First things first: unless you are the executor or administrator (also known as the personal representative of the estate), you don't sell or transfer any of the property of the estate. You could find yourself in legal trouble if you do. If you are the personal representative, the procedure for selling property depends partly on the circumstances and partly on the type of property.

Does the Will Give Authority to Sell Property?

If the deceased person's will authorizes the personal representative to sell real or personal property, the personal representative need not seek court approval prior to the sale. Ohio probate law, specifically Read More

What Happens to Your Timeshare When You Die?

If you own a timeshare, you probably purchased it so your family would have a place to vacation together and create lasting family memories. For many people, the timeshare is a place they envision their family returning to year after year. But what happens when the owner of a timeshare dies?

How Your Timeshare is Deeded Matters

To know what will happen to your timeshare when you die, take a look at the deed. If it is in your sole name, or in your name as "tenants in common" or "joint tenants" with another person, without any survivorship rights mentioned, it will have to go through probate. If it's yours alone, that's one thing; if it's held together with someone else, it gets even messier.

If you own your timeshare together with someone else, say, a sibling, with no rights of survivorship, then if one of you dies, that person's interest in the timeshare goes through probate. So if your brother dies, you may find yourself owning a half-interest in the timeshare, while his half-interest passes through probate to his children.

On the other hand, if you have a Read More