Have a Probate or Real Estate question, Littlejohn Law is here to help you.  Have you been named Executor?  What is the difference between Executor and Administrator?  How long does Probate take?  How much will it cost?  What taxes will the estate have to pay?   

What is an Executor (executrix)?
Your duties as an executor include giving notices to the beneficiaries and next of kin, gathering assets, paying bills, filing tax returns, making distributions to beneficiaries, and providing an accounting of all transactions for the Probate Court.  As executor, you act as a fiduciary, and as such, a high level of accountability is required for your work.  If this sounds like a lot, it is, which is why most executors hire an attorney to help them.

What is the difference between an Executor and an Administrator?
The difference is very simple:  an Executor is appointed if there is a Will; an Administrator is appointed if there is not a Will.  

How long does probate take?
This all depends on the size and complexity of the estate.  In general, plan on a minimum of six months from the day a person dies.  An estate must stay open for six months to allow creditors to make any claims they may have against the estate.  Most estates must be closed within 12 to 13 months.  

How much does Probate Cost?
Only the probate assets must be administered through the Probate Court.  The total court costs to open an estate run between $15 and $300 in Jefferson County.  

What taxes will the estate have to pay?
There are two different types of taxes to consider:  an estate tax and an income tax.  At the death of the decedent, federal estate taxes are only due if assets are greater than $11 million dollars.  As of 2013, the Ohio estate tax has been repealed.  

Need to talk to an experienced attorney on these matters?  Give Littlejohn Law a call today at 740-346-2899 and a member of our team will be here to help you.  Log on to Littlejohn Law for blogs and videos for answers to your Probate and Estate questions. 

Littlejohn Law, LLC
The Real Estate and Probate Law Firm
352 Main StreetWintersville, OH  43953


Edward L. Littlejohn, Jr.