Probate in Ohio generally takes:
- 4 months or less for a release from administration (small estate)
- 9-12 months for a formal probate
- 2 or more years for a complicated or litigated probate estate
These time spans are just estimates, but can be used as a general rule of thumb. How long probate takes in Ohio depends on the facts of each case, including the amount of assets, whether beneficiaries are easily ascertainable, and whether there are any disputes.
Release From Administration Under Ohio Law – A Matter Of Months
We have written about release from administration that is available in small estates here. A release from administration is a streamlined process where an estate is valued at $35,000 or less, or $100,000 or less if the surviving spouse inherits the entire estate.
Because this is a simple filing with the court, the entire process generally takes less than 4 months, and sometimes as little as two months.
Formal Probate In Ohio – Time For Probate About A Year
When an Ohio estate requires a formal probate, how long the probate takes can vary depending on multiple factors. Even if there is no litigation, a complex estate with many different kinds of assets (perhaps real property that needs to be sold, or an art collection that needs to be valued), can slow the process down.
A straightforward formal probate in Ohio can take as little as nine months. Under Ohio law, creditors have six months to file claims against an estate, so the probate will be open for at least that amount of time, and then some to address the other opening and closing issues. For such a fast formal probate the administration would have very little complexity, and everything would go according to plan.
For an Ohio estate with more complex assets or perhaps beneficiaries that are hard to pin down, how long probate takes will be extended until resolution of each issue.
Very Complex Or Litigated Estates In Ohio – Probate Takes A Long Time
If the probate estate has to deal with very complex issues, such as winding down a business, or resolving tax issues, the time for probate in Ohio can go on for years.
The biggest delay to administering an Ohio estate is if the estate is embroiled in probate litigation. If a will contest is filed, or a personal representative’s administration of the estate is challenged, the litigation can go on for many years. This extends the time for probate.
How Can You Speed Up Probate In Ohio?
It is possible to speed up (or at least not slow down) the probate process in Ohio by making sure that all of the required filings are done timely and properly. The less errors that need to be corrected, the quicker the probate can proceed. Hiring an Ohio probate lawyer is the surest way to make sure that delay is kept to a minimum.
Sometimes how long probate takes is completely out of your control. If you are involved in a litigated estate, or one with tax issues, the process needs to play out before the probate can be closed.