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Revoking a will in Ohio

Estate planning experts in Columbus recommend that people begin preparing their wills at a young age. Once completed, such a document should be filed with the probate court of the county in which the testator resides. Many may think that once that is done, they no longer have to worry about estate planning. Yet depending on the age at which one prepares his or her will, life changes may dictate that changes be made to it.

Research data shared by Gallup shows that as of 2016, 35 percent of those between the ages of 30-49 have a will. Those in that demographic may expect to live anywhere between 30-50 more years. Much can happen in that time, including:

  • Marriage/divorce
  • Childbirth/adoption
  • Death of family members, friends and associates
  • Shifts in political views or religious beliefs

All of these factors (coupled with the continued accrual or loss of assets) can affect the issues meant to be address by one’s will. Thus, it is important that one understands how to revoke and replace an existing will if he or she finds it necessary to do so.

The process for revoking a will can found in Ohio’s Probate Code. If a will has already been filed with the probate court, one must file a petition with the court asking for it to be revoked. If the court determines the revocation to be valid, it will recognize the will as being revoked.

If one has yet to file a completed will with the court, its testator can revoke it by destroying it (or authorizing another to do so), or by creating another will with language that expressly invalidates any estate planning documents created previous to it.