A will contest is a civil action, through probate court, to invalidate a will that has been admitted to probate under Ohio Revised Code § 2107.10 through 2107.77. There is only one question answered in a “contest.” Is it a valid will? If successful in contesting a will, the estate is then distributed per the statute of descent and distribution or looks to a prior will for proper beneficiary designations. A will contest is not an action to interpret the provisions of a will. That is considered will construction action. It may be prudent to file both a will contest and a will construction action at the same time to protect the interests of beneficiaries.
The Brannon Law Firm represents clients in will contests involving challenges to the validity of the will based on allegations of:
- Improper drafting, execution, or lack of witnesses;
- Fraud, mistake, or forgery;
- Claims that the testator lacked mental capacity to understand the nature or extent of assets or the terms of the will;
- Claims of undue influence that may occur when the testator was compelled or coerced to sign the will; and
- Actions to protect a surviving spouse, involving the minimum statutory elections for a surviving spouse under the provisions of Ohio law.
If you wish to challenge a will you should be aware that a challenge must be filed in the Court within 3 months of the notice of admission to probate the will under Ohio Revised Code § 2107.76. Do not delay in talking with one of our attorneys, or you may waive your right to challenge the will. Contact our firm for a free consultation to learn about your legal rights if you have about a will.