News and Updates

E-Filing Adult Guardianships – The Court has added adult guardianships to the types of cases that may be commenced by e-filing.

Medical Records and Medical Billing Records – The Court has added local forms to the website for use in implementing new RC 2113.032 for obtaining authorization to access a decedent’s medical records and medical billing records in order to evaluate whether or not to file a wrongful death, personal injury or survivorship action relating to a decedent.  They are found on the “Medical Records and Medical Billing Records” page found under the “Forms and Services by Case Type” tab, drop down menu.

Why Partial Account Filed – Estates – The Court has added a PDF fillable Why Partial Account Filed form to the Local Rules/Forms web page and to the Estates-Full Administration web page.  It is required when both (A) the estate fiduciary is filing a partial account, rather than final account, and (B) the account is not also accompanied by an Application to Extend Administration explaining why a final account has not been filed.

Subpoena – The Court has added a PDF fillable subpoena form on the Local Rules/Forms web page.  Four completed copies must be provided to the Court at the time issuance is requested.

New Legislation (became effective 3/22/2019) –

On March 22, 2019 the Omnibus Probate Bill  and several amendments thereto, (collectively 132nd Gen Assembly; HB 595) will become effective.  The Bill is recommended reading due to the myriad of topics that it covers.  Briefly, the highlights are:

-The “Slayer Statute” (RC 2105.19) has been amended to include involuntary manslaughter not resulting from a felony vehicular homicide offense in the list of offenses excluding an individual from inheriting from a decedent;

-Established the specificity required for a will to clearly and expressly incorporate a trust instrument [RC 2107.05 (B), (C) and (D)] for the wills of decedent’s dying after the 3/22/19 effective date;

-Added the requirement that for admission of a will, the will must have been executed in conformity with the law in the jurisdiction in which the testator was physically present when the will was executed (RC 2107.18); the Ohio law in force at that time; or the law of the jurisdiction of the testator’s domicile at death.  This is intended to prohibit the admission of wills signed electronically by the testator in Ohio, but witnessed remotely in another jurisdiction (such as Nevada) that permits such actions;

-Added authority of the probate court to create a trust for all, or a portion of assets, passing to a minor beneficiary until the minor attains age 25, when the trust is in the minor’s best interest, with the Court maintaining continuing jurisdiction over the assets until age 25.  This is consistent with the wrongful death provisions and it applies to money or property whether from settlement or judgment for personal injury or damage to tangible or intangible property, inheritance, or otherwise (RC 2111.182);

Eliminated the requirement for probate court approval for depositing fiduciary funds in an IOLTA account and permits such deposits if they are either “nominal” in amount, or held for a “short period of time”.  Both conditions need not be met, only one. (RC 2109.41 and RC 4705.09);

-Established the extent of enforcement of arbitration trust clauses in non-testamentary trusts (RC 5802.05);

-Established detailed provisions and procedures for the testator and/or trust settlor to obtain a pre-death determination of the validity of  their  will, or their trust and related will  (Chapter 5817), including the required contents of the complaint in each instance, the mandatory parties to the litigation, and the burden of proof assigned the respective parties;

-Clarified that any communication between an attorney and a client acting as a fiduciary (trustee under express trust, executor, or administrator) is privileged and protected from disclosure to third parties to whom the fiduciary owes fiduciary duties. [RC 5815.16(B)];

-Permits the probate court(s) to create single, or multi-county guardianship services boards with the board members being appointed by the probate court, the MHRS Board and the DD Board; with the board hiring a director and employees to manage adult guardianship for whom the board or its director are named guardian (person and/or estate), thereby becoming a public guardian (RC 2111.52);

-Establishes a procedure whereby a person eligible to be appointed as the decedent’s personal representative or nominated as an executor to file with the probate court for a release of decedent’s medical records and medical billing records for the limited purpose of determining whether to pursue a wrongful death claim, without opening a full estate proceeding (RC 2113.032); but, with a requirement of that it may not be authorized until at least 10 days have passed since the Court transmitted a copy of the Application to the parties listed on the filed Form 1.0.