The basics of probate and will contests

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2022 | Probate & Estate Plans |

Many people die without wills in Ohio. In these cases, the probate court will oversee the distribution of the deceased person’s assets. Even in instances where there is a will, the probate court may still need to approve it.

The probate process

The first step in probating a will is to file it with the probate court in the county where the deceased person resided. The probate court will then appoint an executor, who is responsible for administering the estate. The executor needs to give notice to all interested parties, including the deceased person’s creditors.

Next, the executor takes inventory of the deceased person’s assets and liabilities. The probate court then issues a notice to creditors, giving them a chance to file claims against the estate. Once all claims have been resolved, the executor can distribute the remaining assets according to the terms of the will.

What if someone contests the will?

If someone believes that the will is not valid, they can file a will contest with the probate court. The court may then hold a hearing to determine whether or not the will is valid.

There are several grounds for contesting a will, and one of the most common ones is that the deceased person was not of sound mind when they made the will. Other grounds for contesting include fraud, duress and undue influence.

If the probate court finds that the will is not valid, the deceased person’s assets may get distributed according to Ohio’s intestacy laws. That means that the assets will go to the deceased person’s spouse and children. If the deceased person did not have any surviving spouses or children, then the assets will go to their parents or other relatives.

It’s important to act quickly if you believe that there is something wrong with a will that has been filed with the probate court. In Ohio, you only have six months from the date of probate to file a will contest. Just remember that if you’re considering contesting the will, it’s important to understand the probate process and the grounds for contesting it.



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