Properly Contesting a Will in Ohio

Individuals use a will to distribute their estate after their passing. However, when other parties corrupt those wishes, a will contest may be necessary.

If parties utilize a will contest properly, it is an effective means of righting a grievous wrong. There are a few key facts that people should know about the process in Ohio.

Eligibility

There are a few people who are eligible to submit a will contest. An individual must fit one of two classifications:

  1. Omitted heir
  2. Heir or beneficiary who received less than expected

If someone does not fit into one of the two categories, he or she does not have legal standing. Those who do within the parameters will need to submit legal documentation to prove their stance.

Proof

Presenting the right evidence is key to any court case. In particular, in the case of a will contest, individuals must prove the existence of foul play in some manner. Some of the most common claims include:

  • Incapacity
  • Undue influence
  • Forgery
  • Improper execution

Individuals should collect as much evidence as possible to support a claim. For those who choose to utilize witnesses, it is important to consult with the witness to ensure that the stories coincide. Otherwise, the testimony may hurt the case.

Process

Once a party collects the necessary evidence, he or she must get the necessary paperwork from the Ohio probate office that is conducting the estate proceedings. After filing the paperwork, the filing party must serve all other heirs or beneficiaries involved in the will and retain their signatures showing that they received the papers. Then the petitioning party must file evidence with the court and attend all hearings.

This is a brief description of the process; individuals should become familiar with Ohio's will laws to ensure that they complete the process correctly. Otherwise, their petition may be invalid.


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