In Ohio, as in other jurisdictions, when a person dies without a valid will, he or she died “intestate.” At death, if a person has a valid will, that person’s estate will pass according to the provisions of the will. On the other hand, if that person died intestate, the estate will pass according to Ohio’s Descent and Distribution statute.
With that in mind, the question asked above may seem logical. However, Ohio’s Descent and Distribution statute may not correspond to your wishes regarding the distribution of your estate. For example, consider the following hypothetical scenario. Husband and wife are in their seventies and have been married for five years. Both came to the marriage after their respective previous spouses passed away. Husband has an adult daughter from his first marriage. Husband has an estate valued at $100,000 and wishes his wife to receive $60,000, his daughter $30,000 and his church $10,000. However, if husband dies without a will, his estate will not be distributed according to his wishes. Instead, the statute dictates the estate be distributed in its entirety to his wife ($60,000) and daughter ($40,000).
Certainly, this short article does not exhaust the reasons for having a will but only serves to illustrate why the husband in this example should have had a valid will. Specific needs vary depending on the circumstances and should be addressed individually.
The above question and answer is based on a hypothetical situation. The information provided above is not legal advice. The information presented is a short summary of the stated issue and is not intended to be relied upon in any specific circumstance.
 Ohio Revised Code 2105.06 (C)