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Superintendence Rule 61 allows a fiduciary to hire an appraiser and leaves it to the parties to set a reasonable fee. The rule makes it discretionary with the fiduciary as to when an appraiser is needed, suggesting that property with special and unusual characteristics would be an appropriate situation to engage an appraiser.

In Hamilton County Probate Court, Local Rule 61.1 expounds on the Superintendence Rule for the appraisement of property. Local Rule 61.1 explains who can and who cannot be an appraiser. It also requires that real estate appraisals be made by licensed real estate appraisers or by individuals with appropriate professional experience and training. Unlike some other probate courts, the Hamilton County Probate Court does not maintain a list of appraisers for real estate, except as provided below. An appraisal for household goods and personal effects is required whenever the aggregate value exceeds $5,000.


The following Chart shows the deposit structure for the various case types indicated.

Deposit Structure

Effective May 1, 2015
AAAdult Adoption$131.00
ACConsent to Interstate Adoption$28.00
AFRegistration of Foreign Birth Record$50.00
AGAgency Adoption$160.00
AIPetition For Identifying Information$60.00
ALPre-Placement A & E$35.00
APPrivate Adoption$160.00
ARReadoption (AKA Foreign Readopt)$145.00
ASAdoption by Step Parent / Relative$145.00
AXComplaint Determining Birth Registration$150.00
AZSurrogacy Agreement$47.00
BCBirth Correction$30.00
BRBirth Registration$30.00
CHDetermination of Heirship$125.00
CICivil Case (Unspecified)$150.00
CMCorrection of Marriage Record$45.00
CNName Change$100.00
CSSales Case$125.00
CTTransfer Structured Settlement$150.00
CWWill Contest$150.00
DCChiropractor's License$5.00
DGDesignation of Standby Guardian$5.00
DHDesignation of Heir$75.00
DPDeclaration of Paternity$30.00 
DRAuthenticated Copies$14.00Plus $1 Per Pg.
DRAuthenticated Copies With Will$24.00Plus $1 Per Pg.
DWWill Deposit$15.00
EAFull Administration of Estate (Date of Death prior to 1/1/2002)$225.00
EBReopen Full Administration$70.00
ECCertificate of Transfer Over 10 Yrs.$45.00
EDAdmit Will Only$55.00
EEEstate Tax Return Only$28.00Plus $1 Per Pg Over 4 Pgs.
EFWill For Record Only$25.00
EGDisposition of Bodily Remains$45.00
EHFull Administration-Sole Heir$225.00
ENFull Administration of Estate (Date of Death on or after 1/1/2002)$225.00
EPEstate Relieved (Publication Required)$135.00
EREstate Relieved (No Publication)$98.00
EXWrongful Death Estate Only$160.00
EZSummary Release From Administration$85.00
GEGuardianship (Estate Only)$210.00
GIGuardianship (Person and Estate)$210.00
GPGuardianship (Person Only)$186.00
MAAppointment of Successor Custodian$30.00
MEMinor Guardianship (Estate Only)$125.00
MGMinor Guardianship (Person and Estate)$125.00
MJMinor Declining Jurisdiction$66.00
MPMinor Guardianship (Person Only)$101.00
MSMinor Settlement (No Guardian)$75.00
MXDeliver Funds to Minor (No Guardian)$43.00
MLMarriage License$50.00
TMTrust (Misc.)$105.00
TSTrust (Special Needs)$105.00
TTTrust (Testamentary Trust)$105.00
TWTrust (Wrongful Death)$105.00
Accounts$32.00Plus $1 Pg Over Standard Form


Many matters involving probate court can be relatively straightforward and done without the assistance of an attorney. The Hamilton County Probate Court has made every attempt to make the use of the Court as user-friendly as possible, for example, by allowing access to magistrates on a walk-in basis and by provided detailed instructions for the completion of forms. None of the Court's attorneys are permitted to provide legal advice, however, so there are times when it might be necessary to obtain the assistance of an attorney.

There are two local organizations to assist in the search for an attorney. The Cincinnati Bar Association operates a Lawyer Referral Service whereby the Bar Association will try to match a person needing legal help with an attorney. Attorneys participating in this program have certified they are experienced in a particular field and have agreed to provide an initial 30-minute consultation for only $50. The fees after that time are set by the attorney and client. The Lawyer Referral Service may be reached at (513) 381-8359.

While matters concerning probate law are not the primary mission of the Legal Aid Society of Cincinnati, it has a program known as Volunteer Lawyers for the Poor which can provide assistance in probate matters for free or at a greatly reduced rate. The number for the Legal Aid Society of Cincinnati is (513) 241-9400.


There are four different types of Unclaimed Funds one might come across in the Probate Court.

Disposition Of Unclaimed Funds By Probate Court:

Sometimes at the conclusion of a probate matter, there remains a positive case balance. If an attorney is involved in the case a refund check is drafted payable to the attorney. If the attorney was reimbursed through an Application for Attorney Fees, the attorney should name the fiduciary payee and deliver said check. Each second Monday of January the Court must publish a list of unclaimed funds from the preceding year. If a payee does not contact the probate cashier to reissue a lost or voided check, ORC sections 2335.34 and 2335.35 requires that the court pay the unclaimed funds into the County Treasury. After five years any unclaimed funds default to the County General Fund. To see a current list of outstanding checks Click here

Unclaimed Inheritances:

When heirs of an estate cannot be located, the probate judge may order the fiduciary to pay the unclaimed distribution(s) into the County Treasury, where they will remain until someone files a claim and the money is paid out. To see a list of Unclaimed Inheritances, Click here.

Escheat Of Personal Estate When Estate Is Intestate And Without Heirs:

When, under sections 2105.01 to 2105.21, inclusive of the Revised Code, personal property escheats to the state, the prosecuting attorney of the county in which letters of administration are granted upon such estate shall collect and pay it over to the treasurer. Such estate shall be applied to the support of the common schools of the county in which collected.

Miscellaneous Unclaimed Funds:

Sometimes probate cases are reopened because additional funds are discovered which are assets of the estate. When opening an estate the attorney and/or fiduciary should check for any miscellaneous unclaimed funds in Ohio or any state where the decedent may have lived or held property. To find out more about miscellaneous unclaimed funds click here for Ohio Unclaimed Funds or National Unclaimed Funds.