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Attorney Matthew Weisenburger
Cline, Cook, and Weisenburger Co., L.P.A.
300 Madison Ave. Suite 1100
Toledo, Ohio 43604
Ohio probate law has some of its own specific differences in the areas of wills, time limitations and forms. It is definitely to your
advantage to have an attorney in your corner when navigating the probate system in the state.
Ohio law calls for a specific method and certain specific wording in making a will. It's very important to know that your will meets all the requirements set by the state in the statutes. Thus it will be essential to know and understand the statutes and make sure that all legal material is written accordingly.
All wills in Ohio need to be expressed in writing, even though they can be either handwritten or typed. The state does allow for oral wills in certain situations. The wil must be signed by the person named in the will as well as at least two competent witnesses. There are also very specific requirements regarding the personal representative of the deceased person's estate.
The state has very specific requirements as to the language and procedures laid out in probate forms. The surviving spouse of the deceased can enter a citation in the state probate court to exercise his or her right of election in regards to the estate and assets of the deceased. The spouse will have to know and observe the revised probate code of the state of Ohio if the case has a chance of going through. In probate, procedure is the beginning, middle and end of everything. It's essential to follow all the procedure, make sure that all T's are crossed and I's are dotted. For someone who's not familiar with reading or writing formal, legal material, it can be a difficult, stressful and time-consuming task. That's why most people will consult an attorney to handle such matters.
Probate can be opened for twenty years after the death of the deceased. A surviving spouse can show his or her wish to execute the right of election, by putting it in writing during that time span. In cases over twenty years old, the widow or widower an petition the court if they can show good cause for their desire to probate. Again, procedure is essential, and not turning these duties over to an attorney can take a process that is already fraught with emotion and make it much more prolonged and stressful.
In most cases that involve a will, probate is not going to be necessary. There are, however, exceptions which could include:
There was a later will made out; if valid, it could supersede the first will The will was made at a time when the deceased was not in control of his/her mental faculties enough to make a will The will was a result of fraud, mistake, misinterpretation, coercion or "undue influence" The will is actually a forgery The will wasn't properly "executed" (signed) For some other reason (such as a previous instrument or document), the will is not considered fully valid There are other claims against the estate (such as a lien) that are going to have an impact on what the beneficiaries named in the will actually receive.
Handling probate law is something that requires a great deal of expertise and knowledge. It's not an easy thing to deal with for a
lay person, which is why it's advisable to have an attorney on your side. It's important that the assets from the estate are distributed to the heirs in a proper and legal fashion. .