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How is the estate of a deceased person determined in Ohio.

1 Answers. Asked on Mar 17th, 2017 on Trusts and Estates - Ohio
More details to this question:
My dad passed away a couple weeks ago. I am the only living adult relative he had. I have been reading up on probate in Ohio. I have a couple questions. One is, how is the value of the estate determined. Is it necessary to have an appraisal on his property and personal property. I don't have a problem with the appraisal of the property but the personal property is where there may be a problem. He was a reseller on Ebay and the flea markets. There is alot of personal property. I think most of it is worth very little but I don't know how this would work with an appraisal and I am afraid it would be very costly for an appraisal of so much stuff. Also, I do not live in Ohio. so I could not be administrator. How would they appoint someone else if there are no other relatives? Could I legally move into his house to care for it like I have been considering?
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Answered on Mar 19th, 2017 at 9:47 AM

I'm sorry for your loss.  Regarding the appraisal, it depends on what it will be used for.  If estate taxes are an issue or you plan to hold on to some valuable items and want to document their value at the time of your father's death for tax basis purposes, or if there is another heir who will question the value of the estate, then hiring a professional appraiser is worth the cost.  There should be estate appraisal businesses in the area who will provide appraisals and even handle the sale and disposal of items.  In other cases, simply doing some research online of similar items to your father's property should be suffiicent.  If you are truly the only heir, then there is no one to question the appraisal and an estimate for the probate court should be enough.  

You can serve as administrator from out of state, unless there is some specific law in Ohio that you cannot.  You may need to hire local people to handle certain tasks, but much can be done by mail or phone.  You also could hire a local attorney to do the court filing for you and provide you with specific information about the probate process.  

Yes, you can move into the house.  I would advise getting appointed as the administrator first.  If you are not the only heir, or if there are substantial creditors, I would advise writing a lease between the estate and yourself that spells out who pays what expenses.  Be sure to continue the insurance and inform them that your father has died.  

Important Note: The above does not constitute legal advice, which requires specific information and a mutual agreement to representation. I am not your lawyer unless we have a written agreement that I will represent you.

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