Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Ohio

Not named in Will.

Our brother left a will when he died. Neither my sister nor I are mentioned in the will, the only named beneficiary is the Catholic Church. We would be the only heirs if there had been no will. What are the chances that my sister and I will prevail if we contest the will?

Asked on 4/15/02, 7:10 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Ken Koenen Koenen & Tokunaga, P.C.

Re: Not named in Will.

Don't know about Ohio, but in California, if the will is valid, your brother can give his estate to whomever he wants, and you would lose.

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Answered on 4/15/02, 7:25 pm


Re: Not named in Will.

I am both an Ohio and California lawyer and have an office in both states. The standard for contesting a will is virtually the same in both states. Did the decedent have the testamentary capacity to make a will and understand the objects of his bounty. In other words if he was mentally competent, not unduly influenced and understood what he was intending, then the will stands. If the will was signed properly before two witnesses who also signed in the presence of each other then it was executed in accordance with the law. Not signing properly could invalidate the will.

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Answered on 4/15/02, 7:59 pm
David Weilbacher, Esq. Attorney at Law

Re: Not named in Will.

Unless you can prove that your brother was subject to undue influence, that he was incompetent at the time of the making of the will, or that the will was improperly executed and/or witnessed, you will not prevail. Ask yourself this, was your bother a person who was susceptible to the influence of others. If so, are you aware of anyone who may have actually influenced his testamentary decisions. These are threshold questions which must be answered before a decision can be made to contest the will.

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Answered on 4/16/02, 11:37 am

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