Welcome to the Hamilton County Probate Court

Judge Ralph Winkler and the Hamilton County Probate Court employees are committed to providing excellent service through courtesy, dedication and professionalism while following all laws of the United States of America and State of Ohio. The Court ensures prompt and equal access to all court records and services by using the latest technology to consistently improve accuracy and efficiency in our office, while increasing the times and locations that citizens can access our services. We strive to protect the rights and safety of all people, and those the court have been entrusted to protect, with prompt and just resolution to all legal matters brought before the Court. The Court provides over 80 unique services, some of them include assisting in the distribution of assets from generation to generation, providing guardianship for residents who cannot care for themselves and growing families through marriage and adoptions.


The "forms" section of this website allows you to find the forms you need to complete and file with our office. We anticipate adding more forms as they become available. Select your service below by clicking on the drop down menu.



Judge Ralph Winkler is a lifelong resident of Cincinnati, Ohio. He graduated from Colerain High School in 1979 and the University of Cincinnati in 1983 with a Bachelor of Business Administration. He earned his J.D. from Chase Law School at Northern Kentucky University graduating in 1987.  While in law school, Judge Winkler worked full time as a law clerk in the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas.  After passing the Bar in 1987, he worked in the private practice of law and as an assistant prosecutor until April of 1999 when the Governor appointed him a Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge.   In 2004, he was elected to the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas and was reelected for a second term in 2010.  In 2004, Judge Winkler received his diploma in Judicial Skills from the American Academy of Judicial Education and in 2008 was named Trial Judge of the Year by the Hamilton County Trial Lawyers Association.  He has served as adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati College Of Law.  After winning the Election for Hamilton County Probate Court Judge in November 2014, in 2015 Judge Winkler began serving the public by hearing cases involving adoptions, mental health care, guardianships, estates, and other probate cases.  He is married to Teresa Winkler and has three daughters and six grandchildren.  As a judge for over 17 years, he has presided over 36,000 + cases, giving him a wide variety of great experience.  He feels blessed to hold a job he loves and looks forward to what each new day brings. 

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Recent Alerts

The Hamilton County has adopted changes to its Local Rules which include new provisions dealing with e-filings.  The changes can be seen by clicking here.  The changes take effect on May 1, 2017.

The Court is accepting written comments on the newly adopted changes to the Local Rules until May 15, 2017.  Written comments should be sent to the Probate Court at the following address:

Judge Ralph Winkler
Hamilton County Probate Court
230 E. Ninth Street, 10th Floor
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
The Ohio Supreme Court recently adopted several changes to Standard Probate forms effective March 1, 2017. The following New Standard Probate Forms are now available on the website. 
  •   3.0    Appointment of Appraiser
  • 17.5    Judgement Entry Appointment of Guardian for Incompetent Person
  • 17.7    Guardians Report 
  • 18.0    Petition for Adoption of Minor 
  • 18.6    Final Decree of Adoption (After Interlocutory Order)
  • 18.7    Final Decree of Adoption (Without Interlocutory Order)
  • 19.0    Petition For Adoption of Adult


The Ohio Supreme Court recently adopted several new Standard Probate forms effective March 1, 2017. The following New Standard Probate Forms are now available on the website. 
  •   27.0 Notice to Guardian Submission of Comments or Complaints
  •   27.1 Disposition of Comments Complaints Regarding Guardians Performance
  •   27.2 Notification of Compliance with Guardian Education Requirements
  •   27.3 Notice Application for Change of Address and Entry
  •   27.4 Entry On Application to Change Address of the Ward
  •   27.5 Annual Registration Guardian with Ten or More Wards
  •   27.6 Annual Fee Schedule
  •   27.7 Biennial Guardianship Plan Person
  •   27.8 Biennial Guardianship Plan Estate
  •   27.9 Application to Terminate Guardianship
  • 27.10 Notification of Guardians Receipt of Fees Other Than Through Guardianship
  • 27.11 Notification of Wards Important Legal Papers
  • 27.12 Guardian Receipt
  • 27.21 Notification of Compliance with Guardian Continuing Education Requirements
  • 27.91 Entry Terminating Guardianship
See all Probate Alerts