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Does Ohio accept handwritten and oral wills?

On Behalf of | Apr 5, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Intestacy happens when someone dies without a valid will. When this occurs, the probate court will decide how to distribute your properties, and this might go against your wishes.

To avoid that scenario, you may create an estate plan with your last will and testament as the primary document. In Ohio, a testator must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind and memory. In addition, they must not be under pressure when making their will.

Handwritten wills

The usual format of wills is a typewritten will, but the state also accepts handwritten wills. No matter the format, a will must bear the signature of the testator or their authorized representative. The representative can only sign the will if they are in the testator’s conscious presence.

Additionally, two or more witnesses must attest and subscribe to the will in the testator’s conscious presence. The witnesses, who cannot be minors, should have seen the testator subscribe or acknowledge their own signature.

Oral wills

Moreover, the state accepts oral wills. But there are requirements for an oral will to be valid:

  • The testator made the oral will regarding their personal property in the last sickness.
  • Two competent disinterested witnesses must put it into writing. They should subscribe to it within 10 days of the speaking of the will.
  • The witnesses must prove that the testator said the testamentary words while of sound mind and memory and not under pressure.
  • Also, the witnesses should prove that the testator called upon someone in their presence while declaring their will. Such individuals must bear witness to the testator’s declaration of their will.

Finally, the oral will must be offered for probate within three months from the death of the testator. If this does not happen, the court will not admit to recording it.

Avoiding intestacy

Life has many uncertainties, but it will eventually end. Making a will may ensure that your properties will go to your chosen beneficiaries. Moreover, you could be at peace knowing that no matter what happens, there is a legal document that can fulfill your wishes.

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