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Ohio Intestacy Laws

The following are excerpts from Ohio’s intestacy laws. Please reference the full body of Ohio’s probate and intestate laws for any changes to those laws that may not be reflected below.

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Ohio Intestate Laws

Chapter 2105: DESCENT AND DISTRIBUTION

2105.01 No distinction between ancestral and nonancestral or real and personal property.
In intestate succession, there shall be no difference between ancestral and nonancestral property or between real and personal property.

2105.02 Construction of living and died.
When, in this chapter, a person is described as living, it means that the person was living at the time of the death of the intestate from whom the estate came and that the person lived for at least one hundred twenty hours following the death of the intestate, and when a person is described as having died, it means that the person died before such intestate or that the person failed to live for at least one hundred twenty hours following the death of the intestate.

2105.03 Determination of next of kin.
In the determination of intestate succession, next of kin shall be determined by degrees of relationship computed by the rules of civil law.

2105.06 Statute of descent and distribution.
When a person dies intestate having title or right to any personal property, or to any real property or inheritance, in this state, the personal property shall be distributed, and the real property or inheritance shall descend and pass in parcenary, except as otherwise provided by law, in the following course:

(A) If there is no surviving spouse, to the children of the intestate or their lineal descendants, per stirpes;

(B) If there is a spouse and one or more children of the decedent or their lineal descendants surviving, and all of 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;

(C) 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;

(D) 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;

(E) If there are no children or their lineal descendants, then the whole to the surviving spouse;

(F) 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;

(G) 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;

(H) 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;

(I) 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;

(J) If there are no next of kin, to stepchildren or their lineal descendants, per stirpes;

(K) If there are no stepchildren or their lineal descendants, escheat to the state.

2105.07 Escheat of personal estate.
When, under Chapter 2105. of the Revised Code, personal property escheats to the state, the prosecuting attorney of the county in which letters of administration are granted upon such estate shall collect and pay it over to the county treasurer. Such estate shall be applied exclusively to the support of the common schools of the county in which collected.

2105.08 Application of provisions relating to escheating estates.
Chapter 2105: of the Revised Code applies to any escheating estate of which possession has not been taken, or which has not been collected by the proper officers of the state or those acting under their authority. Right or claim of the state thereto is hereby relinquished to the person who would have been entitled thereto had such sections been in force when the intestate died.

2105.09 Disposition of escheated lands.
(A) The county auditor, unless the auditor acts pursuant to division (C) of this section, shall take possession of real property escheated to the state that is located in the auditor’s county and outside the incorporated area of a city. The auditor shall take possession in the name of the state and sell the property at public auction, at the county seat of the county, to the highest bidder, after having given thirty days’ notice of the intended sale in a newspaper of general circulation in the county or as provided in section 7.16 of the Revised Code.





On the application of the auditor, the court of common pleas shall appoint three disinterested freeholders of the county to appraise the real property. The freeholders shall be governed by the same rule as appraisers in sheriffs’ or administrators’ sales. The auditor shall sell the property at not less than two thirds of its appraised value and may sell it for cash, or for one-third cash and the balance in equal annual payments, the deferred payments to be amply secured. Upon payment of the whole consideration, the auditor shall execute a deed to the purchaser, in the name and on behalf of the state. The proceeds of the sale shall be paid by the auditor to the county treasurer.

If there is a regularly organized agricultural society within the county, the treasurer shall pay the greater of six hundred dollars or five per cent of the proceeds, in any case, to the society. The excess of the proceeds, or the whole thereof if there is no regularly organized agricultural society within the county, shall be distributed as follows:

(1) Twenty-five per cent shall be paid equally to the townships of the county;

(2) Seventy per cent shall be paid into the state treasury to the credit of the agro Ohio fund created under section 901.04 of the Revised Code;

(3) Five per cent shall be credited to the county general fund for such lawful purposes as the board of county commissioners provides.

(B) The legislative authority of a city within which are lands escheated to the state, unless it acts pursuant to division (C) of this section, shall take possession of the lands for the city, and the title to the lands shall vest in the city. The city shall use the premises primarily for health, welfare, or recreational purposes, or may lease them at such prices and for such purposes as it considers proper. With the approval of the tax commissioner, the city may sell the lands or any undivided interest in the lands, in the same manner as is provided in the sale of land not needed for any municipal purposes; provided, that the net proceeds from the rent or sale of the premises shall be devoted to health, welfare, or recreational purposes.

(C) As an alternative to the procedure prescribed in divisions (A) and (B) of this section, the county auditor, or if the real property is located within the incorporated area of a city, the legislative authority of that city by an affirmative vote of at least a majority of its members, may request the probate court to direct the administrator or executor of the estate that contains the escheated property to commence an action in the probate court for authority to sell the real property in the manner provided in Chapter 2127. of the Revised Code. The proceeds from the sale of real property that is located outside the incorporated area of a city shall be distributed by the court in the same manner as the proceeds are distributed under division (A) of this section. The proceeds from the sale of real property that is located within the incorporated area of a city shall be distributed by the court in the same manner as the proceeds are distributed under division (B) of this section.

2105.11 Estate to descend equally to children of intestate.
When a person dies intestate leaving children and none of the children of the intestate have died leaving children or their lineal descendants, the estate shall descend to the children of the intestate living at the time of the intestate’s death in equal proportions.

2105.12 Descent when all descendants of equal degree of consanguinity.
When all the descendants of an intestate, in a direct line of descent, are on an equal degree of consanguinity to the intestate, the estate shall pass to such persons in equal parts, however remote from the intestate such equal and common degree of consanguinity may be.

2105.13 Descent when children and heirs of deceased children are living.
If some of the children of an intestate are living and others are dead, the estate shall descend to the children who are living and to the lineal descendants of the children who are dead, so that each child who is living will inherit the share to which the child who is living would have been entitled if all the children of the intestate were living, and the lineal descendants of the deceased child will inherit equal parts of that portion of the estate to which the deceased child would be entitled if the deceased child were living.

This section shall apply in all cases in which the descendants of the intestate, not more remote than lineal descendants of grandparents, entitled to share in the estate, are of unequal degree of consanguinity to the intestate, so that those who are of the nearest degree of consanguinity will take the share to which they would have been entitled, had all the descendants in the same degree of consanguinity with them who died leaving issue, been living.