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House Bill 464, The Probate Omnibus Bill, passes Ohio House

November 19, 2020
Diane V. Grendell News

State Rep. Diane Grendell (R-Chesterland) announces the Ohio House of Representatives has unanimously passed House Bill 464, the Probate Omnibus Bill. Originally introduced by then-representative Bob Cupp and Representative John Rogers, Representative Grendell was entrusted by Speaker Cupp to carry the legislation following his election to Speaker of the House. Grendell spoke to the bill on the House floor today.

“I thank Speaker Cupp for the honor of carrying House Bill 464, the Probate Omnibus Bill,” said Grendell. “House Bill 464 received the insight of a multitude of probate groups across the state, all directly affected by the outlined changes. I’m pleased with the result of this comprehensive legislation and the positive changes it brings to probate law.”

House Bill 464 enacts simple, but important, changes to Ohio’s probate and trust laws, changes affecting the process of referring probate cases to a retired judge, and logistics surrounding assigned retired judges pay. Key provisions of the legislation include:

  • Modifies the treatment of a non-charitable trust by enabling modifications and further clarifying procedurally the removal or replacement of a trustee;
  • Expands the definition of "qualified trustee" to include a "family trust company" (FTC) as defined in the Ohio Family Trust Company Act;
  • Allows probate courts to appoint appropriate non-profit corporations organized under the laws of this state to be guardians of the person;
  • Improves the position of a surviving spouse when taking ownership of one or more of a deceased spouse’s automobiles;
  • Amends existing name change procedure to make the process faster, more efficient and at a lower cost to applicants by eliminating hearing and publication notice mandates and granting probate courts more discretion to determine the best way to administer each action on a case-by-case basis;
  • Corrects logistical issues regarding assigned retired judges pay;
  • Permits elected judges the discretion to order the referral of a case to a private judge, rather than mandate it upon request of the parties; and
  • Permits specially trained mental health nurse practitioners to testify and provide opinions on civil commitment hearings at both the initial phase and at extension hearings.

Notable groups that provided direct insight on the legislation include The Ohio Supreme Court, Ohio Judicial Conference, Ohio Association of Probate Judges, the Ohio Bar Association, Ohio Association of Domestic Relation Judges, and Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association.

The bill now heads to the Ohio Senate to begin its committee process.