Why family members might challenge your will

On Behalf of | Jan 26, 2022 | Will Contests

Tensions can run high after a family member has passed away. Coping with the loss of a loved one can be difficult enough, without adding the extra pressure of legal disputes.

Sadly, family disputes related to estate plans are fairly common in the U.S. Not only can these result in personal fallouts, but they can also impact whether or not your final wishes are fully honored. Recognizing the more common sources of inheritance disputes could help you to avoid them and build an estate plan that functions according to your needs.

The perception of unfairness

If a family member has been left out of the will, they may feel aggrieved and entitled to their share of the inheritance. However, the law in Ohio does permit some family members to be left out of a will. Frequently, people opt to do this by simply leaving the person out of their estate plan. Nonetheless, this can result in disputes further down the line, as a person may have the scope to argue that it was not your true wish. A better option might be to specifically state in your chosen estate planning tools that the person is to be disinherited.  

Undue influence  

Another common source of probate dispute is when a family member feels that their loved one has been manipulated in some way. Regrettably, people can be selfish at times and a loved one may have been exposed to extended manipulation with the purpose of gaining financial rewards. Additionally, if someone is vulnerable, the risk of being manipulated can be heightened. For a will to be effective it needs to truly reflect the final wishes of a person, and if it doesn’t, challenges could be brought before the court.

Ideally, you want your estate plan to put your family at ease rather than create conflict. With an in-depth understanding of your legal rights in Ohio, this is perfectly feasible.


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