Where does one’s property go if they do not have a will?

On Behalf of | Oct 1, 2020 | Estate Planning And Administration |

There are very few guarantees in life for people in Ohio, but one guarantee is that no one lives forever. At some point in time everyone will pass away and when they do they will leave behind all of the possessions and property that they acquired while living. This property will end up in the hands of individuals who are still living, but who receives it depends on whether people have a will or not.

People may want it to go to specific people and be able to control who receives the property, which can be accomplished by drafting and properly executing a will or trust. If they do not have a valid will or trust though their property will be distributed to family according to the law in Ohio.

When people have a spouse and/or children

If people have a spouse living and they either have no children or all their children are with that spouse, then the spouse receives all of the property. If people do not have a spouse then the property goes to their children or lineal descendants in equal shares. If people have child who is not with their current spouse, then the first $20,000 of the estate and half of the remainder after that goes to the spouse and the remainder goes to the child. If people have multiple children that are not the children of the current spouse then the spouse only receives one-third after the first $20,000 and the children split the rest in equal shares.

If people have no surviving spouse or children

If people have surviving parents, the property will go to them in equal shares. If people have no living parents then it goes to their siblings, both whole and half siblings, in equal shares. If there are no living parents or siblings, then it goes to grandparents in equal shares. If there are no parents, siblings or grandparents then uncles and aunts will receive it in equal shares. Eventually it may go to the state if people have no family.

There are many reasons why people in Ohio may not want their property to be distributed as stated above, which is why having a will is important. Making sure it is drafted properly is important though and consulting with an experienced attorney could be helpful.


FindLaw Network