Ottawa County Probate and Juvenile Courts will close at 12:00 pm on Monday, April 8, 2024. The office will reopen on Tuesday, April 9, 2024 at 8:30 am.



What is an estate administration?

When a person dies, they may own both probate and non-probate assets. Non probate assets are transferred by contract such as joint and survivorship property or payable on death accounts.

Probate assets include property that requires an order from the Probate Court in order to transfer the property.

The Probate Court oversees the collection, maintenance and distribution of the probate property.

This process is called the estate administration.

Do I need a lawyer?

In many cases there are complex legal matters which require a lawyer. Good legal advice can expedite the probate process and prevent costly errors. It is therefore recommended that individuals seek legal counsel prior to the administration of an estate.

How much can the Court help me with the administration of the estate?

Legal practice in the Probate Court is restricted by law to attorneys licensed by the Supreme Court of Ohio. Probate Court employees are prohibited by law from practicing law and cannot give legal advice.


What is Guardianship?

A guardianship is an involuntary trust relationship in which one party called a guardian acts for an individual called the ward. The law regards the ward as incapable of managing his or her own person and/or affairs.

What are the duties of a Guardian?

A guardian may be appointed either a guardian of the person, a guardian of the estate or both.

A guardian of the person has custody of, controls, and protects the person of the ward. A guardian of the estate controls and protects the assets and/or property of the ward.

Types of Guardianship:

1. Minor – Any person under 18 years of age.

2. Incompetent – Any person who is so mentally impaired as a result of a mental or physical illness or disability or mental retardation or as a result of chronic substance abuse that he is incapable of taking proper care of himself or his property.


Should I have an attorney?

Yes. Due to complex legal matters involved in adoption proceedings it is recommended that individuals seek legal counsel.

Must I appear in Court?

Yes. It is mandatory, whether adopting through an agency or independently, that the person adopting and the child or children sought to be adopted appear before the Probate Court for final hearing.

How do I access my adoption records?

Adoption files are confidential and closed to the public.

The Ohio Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, houses birth and adoption records of persons born in Ohio and adopted anywhere in the United States.

The following is the link for further information:


Who may apply?

A person desiring to change his or her name must be a resident of the county at least sixty (60) days prior to the filing of an application. An attorney is not required for the filing of a change of name.

Contact the court for further information.

Where to file?

Applications must be filed in the Probate Court of the county in which the applicant resides.

What about a name change on behalf of a minor?

When the application is made on behalf of a minor under eighteen (18) years of age, application must be made by one of the natural parents or legal guardian. The consent of both living biological parents in writing must be filed with the application. A formal hearing will be held with notice sent to all concerned parties.

Adult change of name – Certified copy of birth certificate required.

Minor change of name – Certified copy of birth certificate required.


What are the requirements?

Ohio law provides that whoever claims to have been born in this State, and whose registration of birth is not recorded or has not been properly and accurately recorded may make application to register or correct their birth record.

Where to file.

  1. The Probate Court of the county of birth.
  2. The Probate Court of the county of residence.
  3. The Probate Court of the county in which the mother resided at the time of birth.


Birth records from 1867-1908

Death records from 1869-1908

Marriage records from July 1840 up to the present time.

Estates from 1849 up to the present time.

These records are available for interested parties searching for their ancestors. Due to the amount of time and personnel involved, we do not provide research service.

The cost for a certified copy of a birth, death or marriage record is $2.00.

When requesting by mail, include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.