11 considerations under Ohio law for families and blended families when someone dies without a will

 

When someone dies without a will in the state of Ohio, there are many things to consider that will control what happens to that person’s property, which are especially important for blended families. 

 

This is mandated under section 2105.06 of the Ohio Revised Code, known as the Statute of descent and distribution.

When a person dies intestate (meaning without a will) having title or right to any personal property, or to any real property or inheritance, the property is distributed, except as otherwise provided by law, in the following order:

    1. If there is no surviving spouse everything goes to the children of the deceased person or their lineal descendants, per stirpes. 

 

  • If there is a spouse and one or more children of the decedent or their lineal descendants surviving, and all the decedent’s children who survive or have lineal descendants surviving also are children of the surviving spouse, then the whole to the surviving spouse. This means that all surviving children or their “line” are all children of the both the decedent and the surviving spouse. 

 

  1. If there is a spouse and one child of the decedent or the child’s lineal descendants surviving and the surviving spouse is not the natural or adoptive parent of the decedent’s child, the first twenty thousand dollars plus one-half of the balance of the intestate estate to the spouse and the remainder to the child or the child’s lineal descendants, per stirpes. This means there is a surviving spouse who is not the natural or biological parent of the decedent’s one child or lineal descendants of that child….common example would be a step-parent and spouse of the decedent, the decedent and the stepparent had no children together, and there is ONE surviving child who is not the biological child of the step parent/surviving spouse. 
  2. If there is a spouse and more than one child or their lineal descendants surviving, the first sixty thousand dollars if the spouse is the natural or adoptive parent of one, but not all, of the children, or the first twenty thousand dollars if the spouse is the natural or adoptive parent of none of the children, plus one-third of the balance of the intestate estate to the spouse and the remainder to the children equally, or to the lineal descendants of any deceased child, per stirpes. This scenario expands upon the prior example and assumes there is MORE than ONE child or lineal descendant of such child of the decedent plus the surviving spouse, and directs that estate funds are paid to the surviving spouse and surviving children, dependent on how many children/lineals survive and whether or not the surviving children are the biological or adopted children of the surviving spouse. 
  3. If there are no children or their lineal descendants, then the whole to the surviving spouse;
  4. Except as provided in section 2105.062 of the Revised Code, if there is no spouse and no children or their lineal descendants, to the parents of the intestate equally, or to the surviving parent
  5. Except as provided in section 2105.062 of the Revised Code, if there is no spouse, no children or their lineal descendants, and no parent surviving, to the brothers and sisters, whether of the whole or of the half blood of the intestate, or their lineal descendants, per stirpes;
  6. Except as provided in section 2105.062 of the Revised Code, if there are no brothers or sisters or their lineal descendants, one-half to the paternal grandparents of the intestate equally, or to the survivor of them, and one-half to the maternal grandparents of the intestate equally, or to the survivor of them;
  7. Except as provided in section 2105.062 of the Revised Code, if there is no paternal grandparent or no maternal grandparent, one-half to the lineal descendants of the deceased grandparents, per stirpes; if there are no such lineal descendants, then to the surviving grandparents or their lineal descendants, per stirpes; if there are no surviving grandparents or their lineal descendants, then to the next of kin of the intestate, provided there shall be no representation among the next of kin;
  8. If there are no next of kin, to stepchildren or their lineal descendants, per stirpes;
  9. If there are no stepchildren or their lineal descendants, escheat to the state.

 

The most important takeaway from these considerations is how important it will be to create your own plan for your own family. If you don’t make your own plan, the state has one for you!

 

This is an advertisement and does not constitute legal advice for you or your matter. If you have specific questions about how this information applies to you, you should seek the advice of an attorney.

Maria Ante

Maria Ante

I am a practicing attorney, licensed in KY and OH. I'm a solo practicing attorney, with a general practice and focus on small business law, family law/domestic relations, criminal defense, estate planning, and personal injury. I currently live in Hebron, KY with my husband, Tim, our son, Beau, our daughter, Rory, and our two Siberian Huskies, Truman and Sprocket. Reading and exercising are my passions. I love running and basketball, I practice yoga, and I enjoy many other fun physical activities!

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