When Ohio residents put together their wills and estates, they do everything in their power to make sure that they’ve covered all of their bases. They usually work with attorneys to make sure that their beneficiaries are clearly indicated, and they work on an asset division plan that represents their will. Once they pass away, the estate gets distributed according to their will. People sometimes contest wills during the probate period.
What is probate?
Probate is the process where the court validates the will of someone who’s passed away. It assesses the deceased person’s final assets and pays off any debts before distributing the remaining estate to the deceased person’s beneficiaries. While probate laws vary from state to state, they are usually pretty similar across the board. While many probate processes move forward smoothly, some become stalled when people contest the will. A will can be legally contested while the estate is going through probate.
Why do people contest wills?
There are several reasons that someone may contest a will. They may assume that the deceased had been under undue influence when making the will. They could also make an accusation that the will is fraudulent or forged. They may even call into question how the will itself was prepared. One thing that could make things really difficult for someone contesting a will is a no-contest clause. This type of clause added to a will basically says that anyone who seeks to challenge the will could lose anything that they had coming from the estate if they can’t prove their claims.
The state of Ohio makes it very clear that only people with proper standing may contest a will. One example of someone with proper standing is the next of kin of the deceased person who was completely left out of a will. Family members who received less than other similarly situated family members could also contest a will. In Ohio, a family member has three months to file a complaint to contest the will once it’s submitted to court. Probate courts don’t usually offer extensions for will contest complaints, but Ohio does allow people with disabilities an extra three months to contest a will.
Who can people turn to for help with probate questions?
Probate is an extremely stressful period, and contesting a will makes things harder. People dealing with these issues may benefit by working with attorneys who have experience with probate issues.