If you have an estate plan, then inheritance laws will not typically affect what happens after your death because your wishes as laid out in your estate will give directions that supersede the law. However, if there is something you did not cover in your plan or if you die without a plan, then Ohio’s inheritance laws come into play.
The Ohio Revised Code states that the law determines inheritance based on next of kin. Your next of kin include close relatives by marriage or blood.
If you are married, your spouse will typically receive everything from your estate as he or she is your next of kin. However, if you have children, this might change things if your spouse is not the parent of those children.
If you have one child and your spouse is not the parent, your spouse would receive $20,000 of your estate plus half of the remaining balance with the rest going to your child.
If your spouse is the parent of one of your children, then he or she gets $46,000 of your estate.
When you have more than one child and your spouse is not the parent of them, then your spouse gets $26,000 of your estate plus one-third of the balance with the remainder going to your children. If your spouse is the parent of one of your children, then he or she gets $46,000 of your estate.
In all situations, your spouse gets his or her share prior to your children. So, if you have a small estate, then only your spouse would receive an inheritance. Also, note that the children in each situation also include your grandchildren if your child is no longer living.
If you do not have a spouse, then your children are next in line. If your children are not alive, their children become the next of kin.
If you do not have children, then your parents become the next of kin if they are still living. If not, then your siblings will inherit your estate.
Do you have questions about Estate Planning & Probate?
HONERLAW LAW OFFICE, LLC
Michael J. Honerlaw
Water Tower Place
7770 West Chester Road, Suite 200
West Chester, Ohio 45069-4181
(513) 847-6059 (Fax)