Most people assume that anybody can contest a will, but that isn’t the case. Probate laws specify that only “interested parties” may challenge a will. There are only select individuals that fall into this category.
Who has the legal standing to contest a will?
Intestate heirs or heirs who were listed in previous wills but later disinherited generally have the appropriate legal standing to contest a current will. So too do beneficiaries named in a current will, no matter whether they’re the decedent’s relatives such as spouses, grandchildren or kids or unrelated parties like friends and charitable organizations. Virtually anyone who stands to lose an inheritance based on the will’s validity can be considered an interested party.
Can an interested party contest a will for any reason?
Not every will can be contested. Even if a party has the legal standing of an “interested party,” they still need a valid reason to contest the will. Mere dissatisfaction with the terms of a will may not give you the right to contest it. Some wills also include “no contest” clauses in them. Beneficiaries who contest wills that contain these clauses may end up disinherited if they lose their lawsuit.
Finding out that a loved one disinherited can be quite shocking — especially if you suspect that they were unduly influenced by another heir. You owe it to yourself to see what legal avenues you can pursue to amend the situation. A probate litigation attorney can assess whether you have a valid claim under Ohio law. If you do, they can help you file a contest to the will here in North Canton.