How to avoid probate in Columbus, OH

by Jul 18, 2022

Probate, or the process of distributing a loved one’s assets, is the last thing anyone wants to think about after a loved one passes away in Columbus. Even though probate isn’t always complicated, it’s important to understand the process, particularly if you want to spare your heirs from it.

Understanding Probate Law in Columbus, OH

Ohio probate is a court-supervised legal process. Its purpose is to make sure the deceased person’s debts and taxes get paid and that their assets go to the rightful inheritors.

Generally, only assets in the deceased person’s name alone go through probate. Everything else can probably be transferred to the new owner without probate court approval.

There’s a simpler and less expensive probate process for either situation:

    • If the surviving spouse inherits all probate property (under the deceased spouse’s will or by state law if there is no will) and the value of the estate does not exceed $100,000; or
    • If the estate is worth less than $35,000.

The simplified process should take two to four months. After that, the Columbus probate court will distribute the estate assets to the heirs.

Why Avoid Probate

Many people want to avoid probate in Columbus, even though it’s usually straightforward. There are a few common complaints:

    • A probate court can take years to resolve an estate in Columbus, especially if it’s complicated or involves a contested will.
    • Typically, probate costs include executor fees, attorney fees, and other administrative fees, like appraiser fees. In some cases, they can add up fast. If the process drags on, the costs go up.
    • Since it’s a state legal proceeding, what happens in probate court doesn’t stay there. Everything goes into the public record.

How to Avoid Probate in Columbus

You can avoid probate no matter why you want to. Here are some options:


    Have a small estate

    Ohio probate law provides that no probate is needed if the Columbus estate is worth less than $5,000 or the funeral expenses. Anyone (except the surviving spouse) who has paid or is obligated to pay those expenses can ask the court for a summary release from administration. The surviving spouse can also ask for summary release from administration if the surviving spouse inherits everything and is entitled to a family support allowance, if all the deceased spouse’s assets are less than $45,000, and if the surviving spouse is obligated to pay the funeral costs.


    Sell and give away your Columbus property while you’re alive

    If you reduce the value of your estate while you’re alive, you might be able to get it into a simplified or exempt probate position. Don’t leave your property to family and friends after you die. Give it to them now. You can also sell properties with high value, like your home. Not only can this reduce how much of your estate goes through probate, it might also help reduce or even eliminate future federal and state estate taxes.

    Make a living trust

    When it comes to avoiding probate, trusts are appealing since Columbus property held in trust doesn’t go to your heirs. It’s the trustee, not you, who controls the trust property, and they’re obligated to distribute it according to the terms of the trust.

    Make accounts payable on death

    Bank accounts and other accounts that are payable on death in Columbus go straight to your beneficiary without going through probate. Ohio also allows such transfers of real estate.

    Own property jointly

    By making your spouse or someone else a joint owner in Columbus, you can avoid probate. Such assets can be held in joint tenancy with right of survivorship, tenancy by the entirety, and community property with right of survivorship.

    Get an Offer on Your Home Now

    Asking yourself “How do I sell my Columbus house fast” to avoid probate? Offer Express, your trusted cash home buyer in Columbus, Ohio, can help!

    We are a reliable company that pays cash for houses. If you want to sell your house fast for cash, our agents are ready to make an offer today. When you sell to us, you don’t have to make repairs or pay commissions. Most importantly, we’ll treat you fairly and honestly with our easy process.

    Ready to sell your home? Get in touch with one of our agents and get a fair cash offer today by calling (614) 820-5777.

    We Buy Houses Fast For Cash

    Enter your information below to received your fast cash offer!

    Recent Blog Post

    How to Sell Your Columbus, OH Home Even with Liens On It

    How to Sell Your Columbus, OH Home Even with Liens On It

    Do you have a home in Columbus, OH with liens on it that you need to sell? You're not alone. Many homeowners are in the same situation, unable to sell their homes because of these liens. But there is hope! With some careful planning and research, you can successfully...

    The Worst Times To List Your House In Cincinnati

    The Worst Times To List Your House In Cincinnati

    Not sure when the ideal time to sell your house is? Check out our latest post for an in-depth look at the best and worst times to list in Cincinnati! There are good times and bad times to list a house for sale in Cincinnati, as determined by extensive research. By...

    Running The Numbers For Selling Your House in Columbus

    Running The Numbers For Selling Your House in Columbus

    Planning on selling your house in Columbus? Great! Just make sure you do your research first so there are no surprises. Traditional sales can be expensive endeavors, but a direct sale usually won't cost you anything. We'll go over the potential costs and time frame...

    Hidden Costs Home Sellers Face In Columbus

    Hidden Costs Home Sellers Face In Columbus

    Before you attempt to sell your Columbus home, do some research on the often unexpected costs that sellers are responsible for. By learning more about the costs of selling a house in Columbus, you can be better prepared and may avoid any financial surprises. Contrary...