Items necessary to file a Summary Release from Administration:
- Certified copy of the decedent’s Death Certificate (the Deputy Clerk will make a copy and return the certified copy);
- Copy of Driver’s License or Government issued picture ID;
- Certified Marriage Abstract, if filing as the Surviving Spouse and spouse is not named in the Will or a Will does not exist;
- Funeral bill which indicates who paid the funeral expenses, or who is obligated in writing to pay them;
- If the decedent has a Will, file the original will “for Record Only” for an additional charge of five dollars ($5.00);
- If transferring a motor vehicle, provide a copy of the title and a print-out of the vehicle’s value from the Internet, a recognized appraiser, or a motor vehicle dealer;
- Copies of documentation establishing the value of all bank accounts, contracts, or other assets for which summary release is requested. If you do not have the valuation for an asset, you will have to complete and file the Motion for Authority to Obtain Release of Information;
- Complete a Medicaid Recovery Acknowledgment form;
- The base court cost deposit of eighty-eight dollars ($88.00); and
- Complete the applicable Probate Forms listed on this page. Note: The Application must be signed in the presence of either a Notary Public or a Deputy Clerk of this Court.
Note: The Ohio Estate Tax filings are not required for decedents dying after December 31, 2012.
Frequently Asked Questions
When can a Summary Release of an Estate be obtained?
A Summary Release from Administration proceeding may be commenced for decedents dying after August 28, 2000 when an estate has not already been opened for a decedent, if:
1. The established value of the decedent’s probate estate (the fair market value of the assets that require administration by the Probate Court) is $5,000 or less and the Applicant is not the surviving spouse and has paid or is obligated to pay the decedent’s funeral and/or burial expenses in an amount that does not exceed the value of those assets; or
2. There is a surviving spouse who is the Applicant and (a) who is entitled to 100% of the $40,000 family allowance (there are no minor children of the decedent who are not also the children of the surviving spouse), (b) the surviving spouse is obligated to pay the funeral and burial expenses, has paid them, or they were pre-paid, and (c) the established value of the probate assets does not exceed $40,000 plus the amount of the funeral bill (not to exceed $5,000)paid by the spouse.
How long does the case take?
Once the Application for Summary Release is filed with the Court and all of the required forms and the supporting documentation pertaining to ownership, values, family, heirs and next of kin are provided, the matter will be reviewed and the Entry Granting Summary Release from Administration will generally be approved within one week. The organization of the information and completeness of the forms is wholly within the control of the Applicant.
Is a Summary Release Available When One of the Assets to be Released is a Motor Vehicle, Boat, or Recreational Vehicle?
Yes. However, if a non-spouse is applying for Summary Release and the asset sought to be released to the Applicant is a motor vehicle, boat, or recreational vehicle, the Applicant will need to provide the Court with a written consent signed by the surviving spouse consenting to the transfer of that asset to the Applicant. Proof of ownership (copy of the title) will be required and the full make, model, body type, and manufacturer’s serial number must be listed on the initial Application for Summary Release.
Is Summary Release Available When the Asset to be Transferred is Real Estate Owned by the Decedent?
Yes, provided the Court is provided with proof that the fair market value of the decedent’s interest in the real estate is within the monetary limits applicable to the particular applicant. Proof may be a recent appraisal acceptable to the Court or a copy of the County Auditor’s valuation of the property from the county tax duplicate. Proof of ownership will be required. An Application for Certificate of Transfer will be required and must be accompanied by two copies of the Certificate of Transfer for Real Estate, with each copy bearing the approval stamp of the County Engineer’s Map Department on the legal description of the property.
Does the Applicant need an Attorney?
Due to the technical aspect of the legal process, the language, and the permanency of the outcomes, the Probate Court strongly recommends that all Applicants seek legal counsel. Good legal advice will hasten the probate process, prevent costly mistakes, and lessen the chances that the Applicant will be faced with suits by other heirs, creditors or family members. Deputy Clerks of the Probate Court are prohibited by Ohio law from assisting in the preparation of the required forms.