Executor of Estate: What are the Requirements in Ohio?
January 23rd, 2012
The executor of an estate must meet several requirements and be approved by the probate court before he or she may proceed with the probate of real estate and other assets in the estate. If the executor chosen by the decedent does not meet the requirements or is rejected by the court, the court can appoint an administrator to oversee the probate of the estate.
In Dayton and Ohio, probate attorneys usually assist executors and administrators with their responsibilities in probating the will and estate. Their experience with probate procedures can often minimize confusion and frustration for the executor of an estate. Sometimes experienced probate attorneys are named as executors or administrators to ensure proper execution of the will and the probate processes.
Executor of Estate Requirements in Ohio:
- In Ohio the executor of an estate must meet five principle requirements:
- They must be at least 18 years of age
- They must be competent
- They must be bonded by a private insurance company
- They must have an excellent credit rating (in order to be bonded)
- They cannot have a criminal record (in order to be bonded)
When the executor named in a will opens an estate in probate court, the first thing he or she must do is apply to be appointed executor. A person does not automatically become executor just because they are named as such in the decedent's will. Most often the court will name the chosen person as executor as long as he or she meets all of the requirements listed above.
In some instances, the will may specifically waive the bond requirement for the executor, in which case the executor must only be at least 18 years of age and competent. Sometimes people will waive the bond requirement in their will when they know that their chosen executor is unlikely to be bonded but fully trust the person to execute their responsibilities in a timely and trustworthy manner.
Before probate court approves an executor, the decedent's spouse and next of kin have the opportunity to object to the executor. If family members challenge the nominated executor, the court, in many cases, will appoint an administrator instead.
If the decedent's chosen executor does not meet the requirements or the probate judge has other reasons for deciding the person is not appropriate, then the court will appoint a person of their own choosing as administrator of the estate. In most cases, the administrator will be chosen from among the decedent's family or friends. Otherwise Dayton or Ohio probate attorneys are often appointed.
Essentially, the requirements for an administrator are the same as those of an executor. However, in Ohio there is one additional requirement: an administrator must be a resident of Ohio. Out-of-state individuals can only serve as an executor, which means they must be named in the will.
Whether appointed as administrator or executor of an estate, our Dayton, Ohio probate attorney's office recommends the appointed person be the kind of person who gets things done and can be trusted to fulfill their responsibilities and adhere to the instructions of the will. Someone who tends to procrastinate or can't be trusted with large sums of money and property would not be a wise choice as executor or administrator.
Probate can usually be completed within a couple of years, but the wrong executor or administrator can drag out the probate of real estate, accounts and other assets for as much as 10 years. If the executor of the estate is not performing their job well or proves to be untrustworthy, family members can petition to remove the executor at any time during the proceedings.
Our Ohio probate attorneys can help you fulfill your duties as the executor of an estate, including the probate of real estate and other assets as well as with the filing of forms with probate court. Call our office at 1-877-483-6730 to schedule a free consultation.