Springfield, OH asked in Probate for Ohio

Q: I am listed as beneficiary on my father’s will. It by name excludes my sister. Should I be concerned about her contestin

The will excludes her by name. She says dad told her that she would be taken care of. She claims she is getting an attorney. He has passed away.

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3 Lawyer Answers
Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Knoxville, TN

A: Will has no effect until the testator dies and the Will if filed for Probate. It can always be destroyed or changed by the testator until his death.

Aaron Epling
Aaron Epling
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Hilliard, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: Assuming your father is still alive, he could communicate with her his wishes and this would reduce the risk of litigation. He could also initiate ante-mortem probate to make sure the will gets admitted while he's alive. If she's getting an attorney, then you probably need to speak to one as well.

Nicholas P. Weiss
Nicholas P. Weiss pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Cleveland Heights, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: Yes. Most wills include provisions that disinherit anyone contesting a will. In this case, she is already disinherited, so there is no downside to her contesting the will.

On the other hand, will contests are HARD. It is very difficult to prove either undue influence or lack of capacity, the most common methods of invalidating a will. Most attorneys will require a substantial up-front payment before taking something like that on. If she lacks the assets for that kind of challenge, a legitimate claim is unlikely.

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