Estate administration is the process by which a person's assets are collected, maintained, and distributed among creditors, heirs and beneficiaries according to the person's will and the laws of Ohio.
After the death of an individual, the probate process begins by any interested person filing an application to administer the estate in the county in which the decedent lived. The court will appoint an estate representative, called a fiduciary. The fiduciary is responsible for administering the decedent's estate and accounting to the court for that administration. A bond may be required of the fiduciary to protect the beneficiaries and creditors of the estate and to insure proper administration of the estate's probate assets.
Due to the complexity of the law and the legal process that is involved with administering an estate the Probate Court strongly recommends that every fiduciary seek legal counsel. Legal fees for services to the fiduciary, when approved by the Court, are properly payable from estate assets. The fiduciary makes decisions that have a direct bearing on the legal rights and benefits of every creditor and heir. A fiduciary may be personally liable for making incorrect decisions which prejudice those interests and rights, and the Court may impose sanctions and damages against a fiduciary who acts improperly. Under Ohio law "pro se" litigants are bound by the same rules and procedures as those litigants who retain counsel. They are not to be accorded greater rights and must accept the results of their own mistakes and errors. Meyer v. First Nat. Bank of Cincinnati, 3 Ohio App.3d 209, (1st Dist, 1981).
COURT EMPLOYEES ARE PROHIBITED BY STATUTE FROM PRACTICING LAW, CANNOT COMPLETE FORMS AND CANNOT GIVE LEGAL ADVICE.