The time after a family member has passed away is very upsetting. On top of dealing with grief, you may have to play a role in handling their estate plan.
Over the years, you developed a strong sense of the final wishes of your loved one. This is because you discussed it fairly regularly. Unfortunately, you’ve viewed the contents of their most recent will and it does not reflect those wishes at all.
How could this have happened and do you have a right to contest the will?
Were they manipulated into making changes?
The strangest part of all of this is that the will was updated soon before they passed away. This has caught you off guard because you were aware of a will that was drafted earlier in the year and it was in accordance with the final wishes of the individual. They’ve reduced your inheritance and instead allocated the bulk share to a carer who was not included in the previous version of the will.
Why were such drastic changes made? Is it possible that they were manipulated by the carer? If they were not, then the will might stand. However, if evidence of manipulation becomes apparent then this would be undue influence, which is a valid reason to contest a will.
Were the changes understood?
Undue influence may not have been present, but there are still other legitimate reasons to contest a will. Your family member was advanced in age and suffering from dementia. Changes were still made to the will very recently though. There is no way they could have fully comprehended these adjustments and doctors can confirm this. In Ohio, testators must have the mental capacity required to fully understand the terms of their estate planning documents before making any changes.
Contesting a will is a major decision that should not be taken lightly. Make sure you have sought legal guidance before taking your next steps.