Probate, trust, guardianship and inheritance litigation
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What Are The Requirements To Be Executor Of An Estate In Ohio?

By:  Daniel McGowan, Esq.

If you are named as the executor in an Ohio resident’s will, you still have to meet certain requirements to qualify and serve as executor under Ohio law.  The requirements to serve as the executor of an estate in Ohio are:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You must be of sound mind
  • You must be bonded (with certain exceptions)


What Are The Bond Requirements For An Ohio Executor?

Unless otherwise provided by law, order, or local rule, an executor must file in the probate court in which the letters are to be issued a bond with a penal sum in an amount that is fixed by the court, “but in no event less than double the probable value of the personal property and of the annual real property rentals that will come into the possession or under the control of the person as a fiduciary.”  See Ohio Revised Code 2109.04.

Section 2109.09 sets forth the bond requirements of an Ohio Executor.

Unless the testator has specified otherwise in the will, the bond required of an executor shall not be required of the executor to administer an estate in accordance with the will of the testator if the executor is the next of kin and if the executor is entitled to the net proceeds of the estate.

The bond otherwise required of an executor by section 2109.04 of the Ohio Revised Code is conditioned as follows:

(1) To file with the probate court within the time required by section 2115.02 of the Revised Code an inventory of all the tangible and intangible personal property of the testator that is to be administered and that comes to the executor’s possession or knowledge and an inventory of the testator’s interest in real property located in this state;

(2) To administer and distribute according to law and the will of the testator all the testator’s tangible and intangible personal property, the proceeds of any action for wrongful death or of any settlement, with or without suit, of a wrongful death claim, and the proceeds of all real property in which the testator had an interest, that is located in this state, and that is sold, when the property or proceeds have come to the possession of the executor or to the possession of another person for the executor;

(3) To render a just and true account of the executor’s administration at the times required by section 2109.301 of the Revised Code.

Can An Out of State Resident Serve As Executor In Ohio?

Yes, an out of state resident can serve as an executor in Ohio, but there are additional requirements imposed.

A nonresident executor can serve only if he or she is related to the decedent by blood, marriage, or adoption, or lives in a state that allows nonresidents to serve as executors.  This requirement for out of state executors can be found in Ohio Revised Code 2109.21.  The executor must still meet the other requirements to be the executor of an estate in Ohio.

How Much Does The Executor Of An Estate Get Paid In Ohio?

Under Ohio law, an executor of an estate can be compensated for the time and work they put into administering the estate, called a commission.  Ohio Revised Code section 2113.35 governs executor commissions.

An executor is allowed fees upon the amount of all of the personal property, including the income from the personal property, that is received and accounted for by them and upon the proceeds of real property that is sold, as follows:

  • For the first one hundred thousand dollars, at the rate of 4%;
  • For the next $300,000, at the rate of 3%;
  • Assets above $400,000, at the rate of 2%;
  • 1% on the value of real property that is not sold;
  • 1% on the value of all property that is not subject to administration and that would have been includable for purposes of computing the Ohio estate tax, except joint and survivorship property.


If you have been named in a will to serve as the executor of an Ohio estate, the process of actually becoming the executor is not automatic.  An Ohio probate lawyer can help you confirm that you meet the requirements to serve as the executor, and assist you with applying to the probate court to so serve.


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