Does A Will From A Loved One Fail To Reflect Their True Wishes?

If you believe there is reason to challenge a will, it is important that you act immediately. The Ohio Revised Code Section 2107.71 only gives you three months after the filing of a Certificate of Service of Notice of Probate of a Will. Once a will is filed, notice must be served to the beneficiaries. Three months after a certificate is filed with the court that notice was given, the time to file a will contest expires.

If you are concerned that someone had undue influence on your loved one's will, call to speak with a Cleveland will contest lawyer at Denman & Lerner Co., L.P.A. We can be reached locally at 440-951-6666 for a free initial consultation.

To prevail at contesting a will, you must prove that one of the following occurred:

  • The person lacked testamentary capacity when he executed the will. This means he did not understand what he was doing when he was making the will due to some physical, mental or legal disability.
  • The person was under undue influence when the will was executed. Somebody pressured him to make a will that he would not otherwise have made.
  • The will itself is legally deficient. In Ohio, the document must be written and signed by the person making the will in the presence of two witnesses.

Our attorneys are highly skilled in handling these and other types of problems. If you are involved in an estate dispute, you can trust us to guide you toward an appropriate outcome.

The following situations suggest that a will contest may be appropriate:

  • A will is changed by someone when he is sick and weak, and the new will seems to favor one person or one side of the family.
  • The will is changed after a person is declared legally incompetent and is placed under a guardianship.
  • A will leaves everything to a new spouse but excludes children from a prior relationship or marriage.

The following suggest that a new will is suspicious:

  • The will was not drafted by an attorney. Some people create a will from the internet that leaves everything to them, then have a sick or vulnerable friend or relative sign it.
  • The will was drafted not by the longstanding attorney of the individual who died but by the attorney of the person who inherits everything under the new will. Some attorneys who are not experienced in this area will draft a will for someone they don't know and don't interview, based upon the say-so of a client who claims they are calling on behalf of the person making a will.

The following people may bring a will contest:

  • A family member who would inherit if the will did not exist. This includes children, spouses and parents, but may also include more distant relatives if closer family members don't exist.
  • Anyone named in a prior will. If a new will is suspicious anyone named in the prior will may bring a will contest. This includes friends and distant relatives named in the prior will as well as close family.

At Denman & Lerner Co., L.P.A., we have experience in initiating and defending will contests. We have represented both individuals who were wrongly left out of new wills and estates that were wrongly sued by beneficiaries in will contests.

We have represented individuals from across the country in probate courts throughout the state of Ohio. If you have any questions at all regarding a will contest, it is important that you call an experienced attorney immediately at 440-951-6666. Failure to do so in a timely manner may prevent you from protecting your rights.