There are four reasons an Ohio judge will consider as grounds for invalidating a person’s will. They include fraud, undue influence on the testator, and a lack of understanding on the part of the testator. Finally, if a will is not structured properly under state law, it may be thrown out.
How do you demonstrate a lack of understanding?
For a will to be valid, the testator must know what it means to create such a document. Furthermore, that person must generally know who his or her beneficiaries are and have a valid explanation as to why assets are being transferred to them. It may be possible to use medical records, witness statements, or other evidence to bolster your claim that a will was created by someone who lacked the mental capacity to do so.
How do you prove fraud or undue influence?
If a will was altered mere days before a person died, it may be evidence that an outside party exercised undue influence on the testator. If the language of the document seems to favor one party over others, it may be evidence of fraud. During a probate hearing, it might be a good idea to introduce earlier copies of a will in an effort to show what you believe to be the deceased person’s true intentions.
Was the will formatted correctly?
A will must generally be signed by the testator as well as two witnesses who don’t stand to benefit from the testator’s estate. Furthermore, a will must generally be typed as opposed to handwritten. If this does not happen, the document submitted to the court may be declared invalid if challenged by anyone who has the standing to do so.
Challenging a will may allow you to obtain the inheritance that you are entitled to receive. However, it’s important to note that this can only be done if there are appropriate legal grounds to do so. Furthermore, you can only pursue a will contest if you have the standing to take such action.