Many spouses do not know what to do when their spouse dies leaving no will. This can be overwhelming and confusing but the law provides for such a circumstance. If the Estate is not large, the spousal rights in Ohio will most likely grant the spouse much of what he or she would have retained otherwise. The issues become more complicated when there are children from previous marriages.
The elective spousal rights that can be taken normally include two automobiles from the Estate, a year without charge living in the mansion home, and a family allowance. These items may be amended over the years, specifically the amount, but they generally allow for these to be granted to the surviving spouse. Additionally, in most states the spouse is the first in line to become the executor of the estate if none was provided for. However, if an executor is provided for, the court will most likely honor this over the surviving spouse.
There is also the intestate share available to spouses, which will vary based on the state and the number of children the decedent had and if they are jointly the surviving spouse’s children or not. Additionally, in community property states, a spouse may be entitled to their share without it going through probate. Overall, a spouse will not be left with nothing just because their spouse did not take the time to have a will written. What that exactly entails will be determined by the state the decedent resided in at the time of their death. If you are in a situation where your spouse has died without a will, you should speak to an attorney to determine what law entitles you to.