Typical Costs in an Ohio Probate Case
Nothing in life is free – and it appears that things are not free once a person dies, either. This is because administering a person’s estate after he or she dies (whether he or she died with a will or without a will or other estate plan in place) costs money. There are a number of costs that can come up during the pendency of a probate case, and these expenses must be paid.
- Debts and expenses of the decedent. Not all debts are extinguished upon the debtor’s death, and those that are not cancelled may have to be paid. This may include hospital bills and the costs of a decedent’s final treatment as well as the costs of providing nursing home care or other healthcare (if the State was the one who incurred those expenses).
- Filing fees. Like any other court case, there are filing fees that need to be paid to the court when the case is commenced. These fees may sometimes be reduced or waived where the individual filing the case is indigent and unable to pay the fee.
- Attorney’s fees, administrator fees, and professional fees. The administrator or executor is entitled to a reasonable sum as compensation for his or her services in administering the estate. Professionals who provide services (like attorneys, accountants, and others) are also entitled to receive a reasonable amount of compensation for their services.
- Costs associated with court hearings. If there is a challenge to the admissibility of a will or a challenge to the manner in which the executor is administering the estate, there may be additional legal fees that are incurred. These fees must also be paid.
- Distributions to heirs and beneficiaries. Of course, any assets or funds that remain a part of the estate after the payment of other allowed claims, debts, and fees is to be distributed to the people and/or entities described in the will (if the person died with a will in place) or the heirs at law (if the person died intestate).
The Estate’s Assets Pay for Most of These Expenses
If you are the executor or administrator over an estate, do not fret: these expenses and costs are typically paid out of the assets of the estate, not your own pocket. Even if you find that you must pay a cost (for example, if you pay the filing fee using your own funds), you are entitled to reimbursement from the estate’s assets. Be warned, however: if there is an insufficient amount of assets to pay all of the costs, debts, and fees, some fees (like the court’s filing fees) may be waived while others (like professionals’ fees) may end up needing to be paid out-of-pocket.
The executor or administrator must keep an accurate accounting of all assets and proceeds that are received by the estate as well as all expenses that are paid out from the estate’s assets.
Can Dawes Legal, LLC Help Reduce These Costs?
Some of the costs of a probate action are fixed and cannot be avoided. However, Dawes Legal, LLC can help you plan your estate now so as to avoid some of the more costly expenses associated with administering an estate in Ohio. For example, you may be able to reduce some fees or costs (in part or entirely) through the creation of a trust or through gifting certain property to your family and/or friends during your lifetime. We are committed to helping you protect your wealth and provide for your family after death. Reach out to Dawes Legal, LLC today and speak with us about your estate planning concerns and questions. Dial (614) 733-9999 to speak with Dawes Legal, LLC.