Cases Handled by Probate Court


When someone dies owning property, it is necessary for the Court to appoint someone to handle the payment of their debts and the distribution of their assets, either according to their will or in accordance with the laws of the State of Ohio. The Probate Judge supervises the work of the executor or administrator, by making sure all debts are paid and the heirs receive what they are entitled to.


  • A guardian is someone appointed by the probate court to be legally responsible for someone and/or their property. Reasons for needing a guardianship could be because a person is incompetent or a minor (under the age of 18).
  • A guardian of a person is appointed to protect and have physical custody of a ward and to provide for the ward's daily needs such as food, shelter, and medical care.
  • A guardian of an estate is appointed to manage the property and financial assets of the ward for the ward's best interest such as paying bills and making investments. The probate court requires an account be filed every other year in order to keep track of the ward's funds.


Generally created through an estate by the decedent's will where either all or a portion of the assets are placed in a trust which then directs how the money is spent. Accountings of these funds are also required by the Probate Court every other year.

Birth Registrations & Corrections

For people who have never had their birth recorded or if their birth was inaccurately recorded, the probate court has the power, upon application, to require recordings and corrections of birth certificates.

Marriage License

Only the Probate Court can issue marriage licenses. In order to be married in the State of Ohio, you must have a license. Both parties must be 18 years old to be married without parental consent. Marriage licenses are obtained in the county where one of the parties resides and then they can be married anywhere in the State of Ohio. Each Court has their own requirements for obtaining marriage licenses so it is necessary to call the Probate Court in the county where you intend on getting the license to find out what is required.


All adoptions must be approved by the Probate Court before they become final. Investigations are required and fingerprints must be submitted for criminal records check of petitioners and adult household members.

Name Change

Parental consent is required for individuals under 18 years old. A valid reason is required whenever changing a name. You cannot get rid of criminal records or debts by changing your name.

Adult Protective Services

Department of Job and Family Services become involved when they are informed that an adult over age 60 is not taking proper care of himself or herself. It is the court's responsibility to determine what is in that person's best interest. Sometimes they need to be admitted to the hospital or put in a nursing home because they are not or are not able to take care of their own needs.

Mental Commitments

The Court prepares the necessary paperwork to have someone taken to the local hospital to have them evaluated. The mental health agency involved does an assessment to determine whether or not the individual needs mental health treatment.