There are some very good reasons to contest someone’s will — and you may feel that you’re on solid ground with your objections, both legally and morally.
Before you begin, however, there are a few key things you need to keep in mind:
You need to act quickly
There may be a huge emotional component to your decision, especially if you believe (or know) that your actions will either create or widen a rift between you and some of your other relatives. The prospect of all the drama and upset may have you on the fence about the issue — but you don’t have long to decide.
In Ohio, you have a maximum of three months to file the appropriate complaint with the probate court. After that time elapses, you may lose your ability to contest the will forever.
This will generally be an expensive process
Maybe the issue is a matter of principle, and the money isn’t important. Maybe the money involved is significant. Either way, a long legal battle can get expensive, so make sure that you’re ready for the bill.
To preserve the value of the estate, a lot of litigants will eventually resolve their disputes over a loved one’s will through negotiations rather than a trial. Leave yourself open to that possibility.
Your relationship with the other parties will probably never be the same
You may know this already — and you might not care if, for example, your stepmother never speaks to you again. Just be prepared for the fact that your entire extended family may end up taking sides. Will contests can easily create wounds in families that never heal.
Contesting a loved one’s will is seldom done lightly or easily — but if you genuinely believe your loved one’s will doesn’t reflect their true intentions, you have every right to take action.