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Dying Without a Will: Ohio Probate Attorney Discusses State Intestacy Laws

Dying Without a Will: Ohio Probate Attorney Discusses State Intestacy Laws
May 27, 2018 LS_admin
Franklin County Ohio estate planning lawyer

If you die without a will, what happens to your real and personal property? Will your family members inherit anything? In this blog, the Ohio probate attorneys at Dawes Legal, LLC, discuss the state’s intestacy laws and what happens to people’s property in the absence of a will.

Ohio Intestacy Laws Limit the Amount Family Members Receive

According to a Gallup poll conducted in 2016, the majority of people in the United States do not have a will. Of those surveyed, only 44 percent said they had wills, which was lower than other polls Gallup previously conducted. In 2005, 51 percent of survey participants said they had wills, and in 1990, 48 percent responded they had wills.

Someone who dies without a will is said to have died “intestate,” and their relatives will inherit based on the state’s intestacy laws. Ohio has specific provisions for what is called “intestate succession.” The amount your relatives inherit depends on some details regarding your familial relationships.

  • If you have no spouse and no children (or descendants) –Your parents will inherit all of your property that would have passed under a will.
  • If you have no spouse, no children (or descendants), and no parents – Your siblings will inherit your property.
  • If you have a spouse and no children – Your spouse will inherit all of your property that would have passed under a will.
  • If you have a spouse and children who are all the biological or adopted children of your spouse – Your spouse will inherit all of your property.
  • If you have a spouse and one child who is not the biological or adopted child of your spouse – Your spouse will inherit the first $20,000 of your property and then half of the remaining property. The child will inherit the other half of the remainder.
  • If you a spouse and several children who are all not the biological or adopted children of your spouse – Your spouse will inherit $20,000 of your property and then one-third of the remaining property. The children will inherit the other two-thirds of the remainder.
  • If you have a spouse and several children who both are and are not the biological children of your spouse – Your spouse will inherit $60,000 of your property and then one-third of the remaining property. The children will inherit the other two-thirds of the remainder. 

As you can see, there are several scenarios in which your children are not entitled by law to an equal portion of your property and scenarios in which your spouse might receive a higher or lower percentage of your property than you would have wanted. A will is the best way to make sure that your intentions with regard to your property are carried out, and your loved ones receive exactly what you wish.

It is never too early to start drafting your will, and an experienced Ohio probate attorney can help. Contact Dawes Legal, LLC, today at (614) 733-9999 to begin protecting yourself and your family.