How do you establish legal ground to contest a will?

Most people have wills in place to help with protecting and distributing their estates after they pass away. However, sometimes, assets are not handled how beneficiaries and other interested parties think they should be. If this happens, the parties might be able to contest someone’s final decisions. Before you contest a will in Ohio, there are a few things to know.

Find out your ability to contest

The first step to take when contesting a will is to determine your standing. Only certain people are legally allowed to contest a will. Usually, these people are immediate family, depending on how old the decedent was when they passed away.

Choosing a reason

If you’re able to move forward in the probate litigation process, you’ll need a reason that you are challenging the will. One of the most common reasons to contest a will is that you believe certain assets are legally yours. However, it’s also possible that the decedent verbally distributed assets to you but didn’t include this statement in a will.

Providing evidence

One of the final steps for contesting a will is to provide evidence to back up your claim. A few examples of what you might have to prove can include:

  • The person lacked the mental capacity to create their will
  • Creation of a will under fraudulent pretenses
  • Another party placed the decedent under duress to get the will created

As you can see, there are a few critical steps anyone must follow to contest a will. First, it’s best to contest a will quickly. If you plan to challenge a will in Ohio, you’ll need to do it within three months of receiving word of the will’s filing.