When a will is contested, the people who may have a stake in the will are divided into two types in Ohio known as the interested parties and the actual parties. In a general sense, all surviving members of a descendant’s family are potentially either interested or actual parties. This could be true whether or not they are listed as beneficiaries on the most recent Last Will and Testament.
Understanding the interested parties
The person who is contesting the will is the petitioner. In Ohio probate courts, it is the petitioner’s responsibility to figure out who should be listed as interested parties in the will contest. In addition to surviving family members, interested parties can also include anyone who was listed in previous versions of the descendant’s will.
In the context of probate litigation, it is important to find out who should be listed as interested parties. Both the person contesting the will and the person defending will need to find out who should be listed as interested parties. Whenever a will is being contested, all interested parties have the right to know about the litigation and have the chance to participate in the case. If this step gets overlooked, it could lead to legal complications with the petition.
Recognizing the members of a will contest
Determining who is an interested or actual party to a contested will is not a straightforward process. In addition to family members, friends, or even former employees could also be interested parties, if they were listed in previous wills, for example. An attorney with a background in probate litigation and contested wills might be able to help a petitioner figure out who should be listed as an interested party to a contested will.