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How does a later will affect probate in Ohio?

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2022 | Estate Planning

In Ohio, after losing a loved one, thinking about how to move forward can be difficult. It is emotionally, personally and financially taxing to think about. This is true with all aspects of the aftermath including probate of the person’s will.

With probate, the will is to be proven as valid under the law. After that is complete, the property can be distributed to the heirs. Still, probate can be complicated. This is especially true if the will was admitted to probate and a later will is discovered. It is important to know the law under these circumstances.

What happens if a later will is admitted for probate?

In probate with a later will, people who were legally required to receive notification for the previous will are also to be notified that there was a later will admitted for probate. This includes fiduciaries and beneficiaries. The latter will is admitted as if the prior will was never admitted. It can also be admitted if an interested person demands that it be admitted and there is testimony from witnesses that its execution was legal.

When this demand is made, a minimum of two witnesses to the execution of the latter will and any other witness that person wants to call must go to probate court and testify. They may be subpoenaed to do so.

There can be examination and cross-examination. The latter will – if it is authenticated – can be admitted to probate as if there was no prior will. Once the probate court admits the later will, it revokes the order admitting the prior will. If the court deems the latter will valid, it will be admitted as if there was no prior will.

Probate and estate planning issues may require professional help

People who create a will do so to ensure their property goes where they want it to go and there are no disputes among their loved ones. However, under some circumstances, they might have created more than one will. If both were valid and admitted to probate, it will inevitably stoke confusion and potential acrimony.

With probate, crafting an estate plan and other areas that can be challenging, it is important to understand the process and have professional guidance through the process to avoid rancor and to ensure that it goes smoothly.