Frequently Asked Questions About Ohio Wills
There are some basic things you should know if you are considering creating a will in the state of Ohio. Below, Dawes Legal, LLC, answers some questions we frequently hear from our clients about wills.
What are Ohio’s requirements for a will?
In the state of Ohio, a will must meet the following general requirements to be valid:
- The creator of the will needs to be 18 years of age or older;
- The creator of the will needs to be of sound mind;
- The will needs to be in writing;
- The creator of the will needs to sign the will; and
- The will needs to be witnessed by two people.
These requirements are committed to statute in Ohio, so under state law, your will needs to meet each of them before it is considered valid.
Can I write my own will?
Yes, you can. Ohio even allows people to handwrite their wills, so you can literally write your own. However, remember that wills are extremely important instruments, created for the purpose of leaving valuable property to valuable people in your life. You want to be completely sure that your will not only meets the basic requirements under state law but also that you have spelled out your exact wishes for your estate in a way that hold up in a court of law.
Should anything about your will be contested, you want your will to be clear. It’s always advisable to retain an experienced attorney for your will drafting to be certain your will is concise, properly conveys all of your wishes, and is binding under the law.
Who should I choose as witnesses?
The witnesses you choose need to be at least 18 years of age and should be “disinterested” witnesses, which means they should not be in a position to benefit from your estate. In other words, your witnesses should not be beneficiaries of your estate.
Your witnesses play a role in your will process by verifying that you have declared your intent for the document to be your last will and testament and witnessing your signature on the document. Your witnesses do not need to be close friends or family; You may choose any two people who are 18 years or older, of competent mind, and can be present during your will signing. Note, they must be physically present. They cannot witness you will on the phone or by video communication.
If you have questions about creating a will in Ohio or would like to start your will, contact Dawes Legal, LLC, today by calling (614) 733-9999. Our Columbus office will guide you through the process of will creation and ensure your will documents all your estate plans.