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What if one of the named beneficiaries in a Will is unknown and can't be located? Do the rest split that person's share?

Cincinnati, OH |

I'm the executor for my uncle's Will. He named several beneficiaries, all receiving varying percentages of his estate. Nobody knows one of his beneficiaries and we can't locate her. We did the required notices in the paper already.
What happens to this unknown person's share? Do the remaining beneficiaries simply divide her share according to the percentages in the Will? Ohio law is applicable.

Attorney Answers 2


  1. I believe you will find that OH law is the same as where I am in MD. When we have a Will leaving an item or money to a person we cannot find, than that property does not go to others named in the Will unless we can demonstrate that the person we can't find is dead. Otherwise it goes through an escheat process. In Maryland, that means it would go to the school board in the county where the dead person lived. OH is probably different as to the governmental entitiy for escheat.


  2. If an heir cannot be located, the other heirs do not split the missing heir's share of the estate. The missing heir's share is deposited with unclaimed funds.

    Disclaimer: I am not offering legal advice. I am just making suggestions for starting points for when you do speak with an attorney. Do NOT rely on anything I write and contact a lawyer.

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