Finding out your loved one has excluded you from their will can make you feel different emotions—confusion, disappointment and so much more. While a will is a legal document, you might also consider it a form of recognition of your relationship with the decedent.
If you had assumed you would see your name on the will, but didn’t, one of the first things you might consider is contesting the will in court. However, the judge will not allow just anyone for just any reason to bring the issue to court. Before you get into gear, you have to confirm some crucial information.
Do you have a right to contest?
Before anyone can challenge a will, they must first have a sufficiently grounded relationship with the deceased, such as an heir or similar survivor. These are the people who have a financial interest in whatever happens to the will during probate.
If you fall under this category, you already have the first requirement to file a petition to contest the will’s validity.
Are there grounds to contest the will?
In Ohio, you cannot just contest a will because you feel that your exclusion was unfair. You need to prove that there are legitimate grounds to challenge the document, which includes the following:
- The testator’s lack of testamentary capacity
- Undue influence over the testator
- The existence of multiple wills
If you believe a legitimate ground exists to challenge the will, you have to gather the necessary evidence and strategize your civil action. Contesting a will is complex, so you must come prepared with adequate research and competent representation.