There are really two components to your question: 1) will you have to open a probate estate; and, 2) who is the titled owner of the real estate in question. Yous cannot locate the "paper" copy or original of the deed; however, the deed is most likely already in the Butler County Recorder's records. One the actual ownership is verified, whether a probate action is necessary. Please feel free to contact me to discuss your options further.
I am an Ohio-licensed attorney. The information is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. Answering this question does not in any way constitute legal representation. Contacting me does not constitute legal representation, nor is any information you provide protected by attorney-client privilege until otherwise advised.
First you'll need to obtain a copy of the deed from the county recorder's office. Second, the will needs to be probated. I would need more information from you to give you more specific answers.
You may call our office at (937) 310-3073 for a FREE 30 minute consultation. Also, if you're worried about attorney fees, Probate attorneys are paid out of the assets of the estate and they must be approved by the probate court.
The foregoing does not establish an attorney client relationship with Attorney Stephen D. Gregg. The information given in Attorney Stephen D. Gregg's answer is not legal advice and is only given for educational purposes.
Deeds are recorded at the county clerk's office (sometimes called the recorder of deeds). They are public information and you can go there and get a copy of the deed.
If this answer was helpful, please mark it as helpful or as a best answer. This answer is for general education purposes only. It neither creates an attorney-client relationship nor provides legal guidance or advice. The answer is based on the limited information provided and the answer might be different had additional information been provided. You should consult an attorney.