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The Legislative Service Commission staff updates the Revised Code on an ongoing basis, as it completes its act review of enacted legislation. Updates may be slower during some times of the year, depending on the volume of enacted legislation.

Chapter 2123 | Determination Of Heirship

Section 2123.01 | When proceedings to determine heirship may be had.

Whenever property passes by the laws of intestate succession, or under a will to a beneficiary not named in such will, proceedings may be had in the probate court to determine the persons entitled to such property.

Section 2123.02 | Petition - defendants.

In a situation described in section 2123.01 of the Revised Code, the executor or administrator may file in the probate court of the county where the estate is being administered a complaint signed by the executor or administrator or the executor's or administrator's attorney, which complaint shall be verified. The surviving spouse and the legatees and devisees, or the heirs and distributees of the decedent, including those whose names are unknown, shall be made parties defendant. The complaint shall contain a concise statement of the pertinent facts and shall conclude with a prayer, for the determination of the heirs and distributees of the decedent or of the devisees or legatees not named in the will and their respective interests in the estate.

Section 2123.03 | Service of summons.

Upon the filing of the complaint mentioned in section 2123.02 of the Revised Code, the same proceedings, pleadings, and rule days as in civil actions in the court of common pleas shall apply. All parties defendant who are known to be residents of the state and whose places of residence are known shall be served with summons, as provided for the service of summons in civil actions in that court.

Section 2123.04 | Service by publication.

In a proceeding to determine heirship, nonresident defendants and defendants whose names or places of residence are unknown shall be served by publication as in civil actions in the court of common pleas.

Section 2123.05 | Finding and order.

At the time assigned for the hearing of a proceeding set forth under section 2123.01 of the Revised Code, or at any time to which the hearing may be adjourned, the probate court may hear proof taken by commission, or by witnesses produced in open court, of the facts set forth in the complaint, and shall, if satisfied from the evidence, find and adjudge who are or were the heirs or next of kin of the decedent, and entitled by the laws of this state to inherit the estate of the deceased, or the devisees or legatees named or unnamed in the will. The finding and adjudication shall be entered on the journal of the court, which entry, or a certified copy of the entry, shall be primafacie evidence of the facts found.

Section 2123.06 | Other persons may ask for determination.

Whenever it is necessary for any person other than an executor or administrator to determine who are or were the heirs at law of a deceased person, on the complaint of any interested party and proceedings similar to those set forth in sections 2123.01 to 2123.05 of the Revised Code, the probate court may make a determination of who are or were the heirs at law of the deceased person.

Section 2123.07 | Effect of determination.

Any fiduciary may make a final distribution of an estate or take any other appropriate action respecting a trust, upon the determination set forth in section 2123.05 of the Revised Code, and shall thereupon, together with the surety, be discharged from liability arising from such determined interest, and the title to any property thereupon purchased from such fiduciary shall be free from such determined interest.