Skip to Main Content

Ohio Probate & Wills: Rights of Disinherited Spouse


If your spouse dies, and leaves you out of his or her will, the law says you are "disinherited".Fortunately, Ohio law provides protections for a spouse disinherited in a will. You can choose to take under the will, or elect against the will in probate court.  IIf you elect against the will, you can take up to one-half of the net estate, unless there are more than two surviving children, in which case you can take up to one-third of the net estate.If you choose to take against the will, you must notify the probate judge, in person, within five months after the executor of the estate was appointed. 

As a surviving spouse, you may be entitled to a support allowance of up to $40,000. If your spouse has any children under age 18 who are not also your children, the support allowance will be divided between the surviving spouse and those children.

The surviving spouse is allowed to take up to two vehicles that are included in the probate estate, as long as they are not specifically given to someone else, and their value is not more than $40,000 total. 

The surviving spouse is also permitted to remain in the primary residence for up to one year from the date of death, unless the house is sold, in which case you are entitled to receive fair rental value for the remainder of that year. 

As the surviving spouse, you are entitled to be reimbursed for any funeral expenses, and to challenge the validity of a prenuptial or separation agreement.


Ohio Revised Code