The Ohio Supreme Court reported 100,053 cases in probate courts in 2022. There is no doubt these courts are very busy.
To help ensure everyone’s cases move along as quickly as possible, the probate law does allow for certain estates to seek a release from administration.
Release from administration explained
Release from administration is a streamlined process for small estates. It offers a quicker and more straightforward path for handling estates that meet value thresholds and specific conditions.
Estate owners who did not have legal spouses at the time of their passing can have assets valued up to $35,000. For married individuals, the threshold is higher, capping at $100,000.
All interested parties must receive a notice of the application. Interested parties can include heirs, beneficiaries and creditors. This step ensures that anyone the situation could impact has an opportunity to review the application.
It is also a requirement to demonstrate that the release from administration will not harm creditors.
Release from administration begins with the filing of an application with the court. This application must include a comprehensive list of all probate assets within the estate. Probate assets typically include things like bank accounts, real estate and personal property that do not have designated beneficiaries.
The process then requires a hearing before the court. The hearing requires presenting estate documents and verifying the information provided in the application. This step helps ensure the accuracy and legitimacy of the estate’s affairs.
Once the court approves the release from administration, the estate bypasses formal probate. This streamlined approach significantly reduces the paperwork and time involved in the process. It is a more efficient way to settle smaller estates, saving both time and resources.