Mansion House Rights In Ohio Probate

The Ohio Revised Code allows certain surviving spouse rights in a deceased spouse’s estate, including mansion house rights.

What Does “Mansion House” Mean In Ohio Probate?

The term “mansion house” as used in the context of the Ohio Revised Probate Code “includes the decedent’s title in the parcel of land on which the house is situated and, at the option of the surviving spouse, the decedent’s title in the household goods contained within the house and the lots or farmland adjacent to the house and used in conjunction with it as the home of the decedent.” Ohio Revised Code § 2106.10.

What Are a Surviving Spouse’s Mansion House Rights In Ohio Probate?

Under Ohio law a surviving spouse may elect to receive, as part of the surviving spouse’s share of an intestate estate under section 2105.06 of the Revised Code and the allowance for support under section 2106.13 of the Revised Code, the entire interest of the decedent spouse in the mansion house. The interest of the decedent spouse in the mansion house shall be valued at the appraised value with the deduction of that portion of all liens on the mansion house existing at the time of death and attributable to the decedent’s interest in the mansion house.

What Is the Deadline To Make the Mansion House Election?

The deadline for the surviving spouse to elect to receive the interest of the decedent spouse in the mansion house is at or before the time a final account is rendered. Ohio Revised Code § 2106.10(B).  See Deadlines and Timelines In Ohio Probate.

What Happens After the Surviving Spouse Makes the Mansion House Election?

If the surviving spouse makes the mansion house election as provided under Ohio law, the administrator or executor of the estate shall file an application for a certificate of transfer. The application is also required to contain an inventory of the property and the allowance for support that the spouse is entitled to receive.  If the value of the property and the allowance for support that the spouse is entitled to receive is equal to or greater than the value of the decedent’s interest in the mansion house, the court shall issue the certificate of transfer. See Ohio Revised Code § 2106.10(C).

Can a Surviving Spouse Make a Mansion House Election In an Estate Relieved From Administration?

Yes.  A surviving spouse can still make a mansion house election in an estate relieved from administration under section 2113.03 of the Ohio Revised Code or in an estate that is subject to an order granting a summary release from administration under section 2113.031 of the Revised Code.

The election shall be made at the time of or prior to the entry of the order relieving the estate from administration or the order granting a summary release from administration. Either the surviving spouse or the applicant for the order shall file the application for the certificate of transfer under division (C) of this section. See Ohio Revised Code § 2106.10(D).

What Happens If the Surviving Spouse Dies Before Making the Mansion House Election?

If the surviving spouse dies prior to making a mansion house election the surviving spouse shall be conclusively presumed under Ohio law not to have made an election. After the surviving spouse’s death, no other person is authorized to make an election pursuant to that division on behalf of the estate of the surviving spouse. Ohio Revised Code § 2106.10(E).

An Ohio surviving spouse should work with an Ohio probate attorney to make sure they pursue their rights in their deceased spouse’s estate, including the mansion house election if appropriate.