Many people believe that when they create a will, it will be administered after their death and their estate will be closed without issue. Unfortunately, situations can arise where the will is contested by the beneficiaries, a family member, or by another person who believes they should have a share of the assets.
In Ohio, the person making the will must be at least 18 years old and be of sound mind, meaning that they understand that they are creating a document that distributes property after their death. The will must be signed, in writing, and it must be witnessed by at least two people. The witnesses cannot be beneficiaries of the will.
Common reasons a will is contested
There are several reasons a will may be contested. The challenger may argue that the person making the will lacked testamentary capacity and for that reason, the will should be invalidated. Lack of testamentary capacity means that they did not understand the nature of their actions.
If the will was not signed or witnessed, it may be challenged as an improperly executed document. Also, undue influence is a reason to invalidate the will. This means that the person creating the will was pressured or intimidated into writing it in favor of a particular person.
The court may have to intervene in situations where there is a concern that the language is not clear in the will. The challenger may argue that the property distribution can be interpreted several different ways.
If a person needs help to create a will or to address a dispute, there is assistance available.