Cincinnati, OH asked in Probate for Ohio

Q: my neighbor passed away in late October, I am concerned his children may be trying to settle his estate without probate

We are in Ohio. He was a single man with no spouse to pass his real estate and property to. I am told there is a Will, but as far as I can tell there is not a survivorship affidavit on file. He is listed as sole owner of his house (with a mortgage), and I am told his youngest daughter plans to sell the house in late December, well before any probate case could be settled. I also suspect there is extensive medical debt outstanding. As a concerned, unrelated party, how do I notify the court of my concerns? As far as I can tell, they have not opened a probate case or filed a will, and the estate value exceeds any "speedy" exemptions to the normal process.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Andrew Popp
Andrew Popp
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Cuyahoga Falls, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: The short answer is that you simply have some misunderstandings about the way the process works. If the title to your neighbor's house was in his name, only a legal representative can sell the house. That means probate. The alternative is if the house was in a trust or was set to pass through operation of title to another person without probate. In that instance, the Will would not apply as the other mechanisms would supersede the Will.

If you would like a more detailed analysis of the situation, I would recommend sitting down with a qualified attorney for review.

Best of luck.

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