All of our attorneys and staff will remain available to serve our existing clients and any new clients in need of legal services. We have the ability to meet virtually (GoToMeeting, Skype, Facetime, etc.), by telephone or in person if necessary. Courts are open, albeit on a limited basis, and judges are available to hear cases and address issues which require immediate attention.

Choose A Team Of Award-Winning Attorneys

Does Ohio enforce no-contest clauses?

| Nov 7, 2018 | Estate Planning |

The last thing that you want is there to be contention amongst the beneficiaries you leave behind in Columbus. Yet when it comes to the dispersal of a loved one estate amongst multiple parties, there will almost inevitably be people who are not happy with your stipulations. They may allow that disappointment to lead them to challenge the validity of your will, further complication matters and all but ensuring discord. One way for you to stop such discord from occurring in the first place is by including a no-contest clause in your will. 

No-contest clauses are language that creates the potential for a penalty to be assigned to anyone who challenges the terms of your will. The penalty imposed can range from one who does make a challenge being forced to relinquish a portion of their interest in the estate to being disinherited altogether. Howe sever such a penalty may be is left to you to decide. 

There are many, however, who may say that no-contest clauses are essentially worthless because some states do not enforce. Many others may view them as being valid yet still allow challenges to be made if it is believed that the persons making them is acting in good faith. Ohio, however, counts itself among a handful of states that truly give no-contest clauses teeth. 

The standard for no-contest clauses in the state was set in 1869. Contemporary cases often argue that it is time for the state to adopt the good faith exception. Yet an Ohio State Supreme Court ruling issued in 2002 reaffirmed the state’s commitment, saying that allowing such an exception would destroy the purpose of the clause itself. Thus, you can include such language in your will and expect it to be enforced, no matter what. 

findlaw-network