Skip to main content
Back To Top Top Back To Top
The Legislative Service Commission staff updates the Revised Code on an ongoing basis, as it completes its act review of enacted legislation. Updates may be slower during some times of the year, depending on the volume of enacted legislation.

Chapter 2119 | Trustee For Absentee

Section 2119.01 | Trustee for absentee.

When a person owning property in this state has disappeared and has not been heard from, after diligent inquiry and for at least three months, under circumstances that afford reasonable ground to believe that the person is dead, cannot return, or refuses to return to the person's home, and the person's estate requires attention, supervision, and care, or is needed for the maintenance of the person's dependents, the probate court, on application of the spouse or of one of the next of kin, may appoint a trustee to take possession and charge of the property of the person, other than the property with respect to which the person has made provision by written instrument designating an agent or attorney in fact. The application shall be filed in the county in which the person last resided or if the person's last known residence was outside this state, the application may be filed in any county in which that property is situated.

Section 2119.02 | Notice.

The probate court, before appointing a trustee for an absentee, shall cause notice of the filing of the application under section 2119.01 of the Revised Code and of the time and place of hearing on the application to be published once a week for four consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county and shall cause copies of the notice to be mailed to the spouse and next of kin of the absentee residing within the state, except the applicant, and to the absentee residing at the absentee's last known address. The court may order notice to be given to any other persons in the manner that it considers best.

Section 2119.03 | Powers of trustee.

(A) The trustee appointed under section 2119.01 of the Revised Code may proceed without order of the probate court to do the following:

(1) Take possession of the property of the absentee wherever situated within the state;

(2) Collect all debts due to the absentee;

(3) Retain and invest the estate in accordance with Chapters 2113. to 2125. of the Revised Code.

(B) The trustee may pay that part or all of the income or principal of the estate as the court, from time to time, may direct for the maintenance and support of the absentee's dependents and, under the order of the court, may bring and defend suits on behalf of the absentee, compromise claims in favor of and against the absentee, and pay any debts of the absentee that the court finds necessary for the protection of the absentee's dependents, including insurance premiums, orders for an award of spousal support, and other obligations. The court may make any other orders that it considers proper for the care and custody of the property and its proceeds.

Section 2119.04 | Mortgage, lease, or sale of real property - sale of personal property.

In order to provide money for the payments authorized by section 2119.03 of the Revised Code, proceedings may be had for the mortgaging, leasing, or sale of the real property of an absentee in the same manner as provided by sections 2127.01 to 2127.43 of the Revised Code for sales of real property by executors and administrators. The probate court, upon notice to the spouse and any other persons and in the manner that the court directs, may order all or any part of the personal property to be sold.

Section 2119.05 | Termination of trust - final account.

If at any time the absentee returns and makes application to the probate court for the termination of the trust established under section 2119.01 of the Revised Code, the court shall, on notice to the trustee and other interested parties, order the trustee to file a final account and on settlement of the account shall terminate the trust and order all remaining property returned. If an executor, administrator, or guardian is appointed for the estate of the absentee, the court shall order the trustee to file a final account and on settlement of the account shall terminate the trust and order all of the property remaining in the possession or under the control of the trustee to be delivered to the fiduciary entitled to the property.