The process of challenging a will is time consuming, and Ohio courts are usually reluctant to overturn a will without major evidence.
You cannot challenge a will because you do not like the terms. You must provide a valid reason for contesting it.
Reasons for challenging a will
There are many reasons people challenge wills. Some valid reasons include fraud, illegality or incapacity of the person who created the will.
A will in Ohio must go through probate. This means the court must determine the will is valid.
Once the will is determined valid, the appointed executor takes care of distributing the assets according to the terms of the will, paying any debts and taxes and fulfilling other responsibilities associated with estate administration.
Situations that could cause a delay in challenging
Ideally, you would challenge the will before it gets probated. Most people are quick to challenge wills, out of fear of losing out on what they believe they are owed under it. But sometimes that might not be possible.
Perhaps you did not find out about the will because you were not given proper notice. Or maybe you found out new information that could invalidate the will until the probate process was underway, or even completed.
Challenging the will after probate
Can you still challenge it? The answer is yes, the estate can potentially be reopened. However, you must present strong evidence to convince a court that there is a legitimate reason to reopen the estate. You must also challenge within the statute of limitations.
Reopening an estate involves more than simply contacting the executor or the court and asking. There are requirements and procedures that must be correctly followed, and the procedure could quickly become confusing or overwhelming.
If you find yourself in this situation, it is best to work with an attorney experienced with estate administration. An attorney can evaluate the situation and advise you on your available options.