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Ohio Wills Laws

Overview of Ohio Will Laws

A will is a legal document stating how one would like his her possessions and other interests dealt with after death. Ohio's will laws require the testator (the person writing the will) to be at least 18 years old and of sound mind, while the will itself may be oral or handwritten if certain conditions are met.

What if You Die Without a Will?

If you die without a will, meaning you have died "intestate," then Ohio's probate laws will determine how your estate will be handled. Typically, your estate will be divided equally among your heirs, which would include children, a surviving spouse, and other relatives. In the absense of heirs, estates without a will go to the state.

Are You Eligible to Write a Will?

To be "of sound mind," or to have testamentary capacity for writing a will, means to be free from dementia, serious mental illness, or other conditions that would negatively impact the testator's (the person writing the will) judgment. Also, Ohio law requires you to be over 18 and not under any pressure from others (duress).

The basics of Ohio wills laws are highlighted in the box below. See FindLaw's Wills section for additional resources.

Code Section 2107.02, et seq.
Age of Testator 18 or over of sound mind and memory and not under restraint
Number of Witnesses Attested and subscribed in presence of testator by two or more competent witnesses who saw testator subscribe or heard him acknowledge his signature.
Nuncupative (Oral Wills) Valid if made in last sickness as to personal estate if reduced to writing and subscribed by two competent disinterested witnesses within 10 days after speaking; witnesses must prove that testator is of sound mind, memory, and not under restraint and he called upon some person present at the time the testamentary words were spoken to bear testimony that it is his will; must be offered to probate within 6 months after death.
Holographic Wills Valid as holographic will provided attested and subscribed in the presence of testator by two or more competent witnesses who saw testator subscribe or heard him acknowledge his signature.

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact an Ohio wills attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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