5 Reasons Why an Executor Should Hire a Lawyer


  1. Filing Requirements. There are rigid filing requirements that an executor must meet when administering an estate. The court will not advise an executor on how to file documents. It will be up to the executor to figure it out. Failure to make timely filings may result in an executor’s removal and the removed executor being ordered to pay the resulting attorney and court fees.
  1. An executor is bound by the terms of the Last Will and Testament and Ohio law when making distributions to beneficiaries. An executor who erroneously makes distributions, in the amount paid or the person paid, could be on the hook to remedy the situation with his own money.
  1. Creditor Claims. When a person dies, there is a 6 month statute of limitations for a creditor to make a claim against an estate. Ohio law imposes strict rules on how that claim must be made and to whom. An executor may want to delay opening an estate to avoid a substantial creditor claim. An executor risks being sued by a beneficiary for improperly paying out a creditor claim. Not having the right legal advice can cost you and the estate money.
  1. Estate Pays the Attorney Fees. When an executor hires an attorney to represent him when administering an estate, the fees for that attorney are paid for from the estate. The executor need not pay the funds from his own pocket.
  1. Money and Lawsuits. The number one reason an executor should hire an attorney is because mistakes are costly. Errors made by an executor can result in lawsuits and orders by a court for the executor to pay for his mistakes.

For more information on Ohio Estate Administration, contact a Cleveland estate lawyer.