Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Ohio

Q: What all do I need in order to be names as administrator if my father's estate if there wasn't a last will and testamen.

He didn't own his home and his vehicle when back to the finance company. He did have a life insurance policies I'm sure but how do I track them down.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Andrew Popp
Andrew Popp
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: You need to open up a probate estate in order to be appointed the administrator of your father's estate. This will need to be done in the county where your father lived when he passed away. Each county has local rules and forms that are needed in doing this.

If you are trying to avoid hiring an attorney I suggest starting with the Ohio Rules of Superintendence (link below), reviewing the local rules and probably going to your local law library to read up on the subject. As administrator you have some clear requirements imposed on you and there can be significant penalties if things are not done correctly.

Best of luck.

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: You'll have to go through his papers to try to find any life insurance policies. There is no other easy way to find out if he had insurance. If you find any life insurance policies, you can send a death certificate to the companies to notify them of his death. They will pay insurance directly to the beneficiaries named by him that are on file with the insurance companies. None of that requires any action by the probate court. Life insurance proceeds are not part of his estate. He has no house or vehicle, but if he has other assets, such as a bank account, then contact your local probate court for the forms to file to administer his estate. Some courts are helpful, some aren't. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to consult a local probate attorney if the court is not helpful.

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