Who Are Next of Kin In Ohio?

Next of kin under Ohio law generally means a person’s nearest relative or relatives. Not all kin or relatives of a decedent are “next of kin.”  Rather, the relatives nearest to the decedent are next of kin.

Generally, the next of kin under Ohio law are:

  • Surviving spouse
  • Descendants
  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • Descendants of siblings
  • Grandparents
  • Aunts and uncles
 

Who Inherits An Intestate Estate Under Ohio Law?

When a decedent dies intestate (without a will) only the nearest relatives and next of kin to the decedent will inherit the intestate estate.

Section 2105.03 of the Ohio Revised Code states:

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

Section 2105.06 of the Ohio Revised Code governs descent and distribution under Ohio law when a person dies intestate.  Section 2105.06 provides that the decedent’s personal property shall be distributed, and the real property or inheritance shall descend and pass in parcenary, except as otherwise provided by law, as follows:

No surviving spouse

100% to children of the intestate or their lineal descendants, per stirpes

Surviving spouse, one or more children of the decedent or their lineal descendants (all of decedent’s children are also children of surviving spouse)

100% to surviving spouse

Surviving spouse, one child of decedent or child’s lineal descendants (surviving spouse is not parent of the decedent’s child)

First $20,000 plus ½ balance of the intestate estate to the surviving spouse, remainder to the child or the child’s lineal descendants, per stirpes

Surviving spouse, more than one child or lineal descendants (spouse is parent of one, but not all of the children)

First $60,000, 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

Surviving spouse, more than one child or lineal descendants (spouse is parent of none of the children)

First $20,000, 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

Surviving spouse, no children or lineal descendants

All to surviving spouse

No spouse, no children or lineal descendants

Parents equally, or to surviving parent

No spouse, no children or lineal descendants, no parent

Brothers and sisters or their lineal descendants, per stirpes

No spouse, no children or lineal descendants, no parent, no brothers or sisters or lineal descendants

½ to paternal grandparents equally or to survivor of them, ½ to the maternal grandparents equally or to the survivor of them

No spouse, no children or lineal descendants, no parent, no brothers or sisters or lineal descendants, no grandparents or their lineal descendants

Next of kin

No next of kin

Stepchildren or their lineal descendants, per stirpes

No stepchildren

Escheat to the State of Ohio

What Does an Intestate Heir Inherit From an Ohio Intestate Estate?

When you are the next of kin that inherits from an intestate Ohio estate, you inherit only assets that are in the decedent’s probate estate.  Therefore, you might not inherit anything if all of the decedent’s assets were non-probate assets, such as jointly-titled real estate or bank accounts with a beneficiary designation.  See the Probate and Non-Probate Assets Chart to learn more.

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