I wasn’t married to my boyfriend and he passed

In Ohio I wasn’t married to my boyfriend and he
passed away. He left a will leaving me everything.
Can he children contest the will?

Asked on June 10, 2017 under Estate Planning, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they can try to contest it--people who would have inherited if there was no will always have the right to bring a legal action to challenge it--but that doesn't mean they will succeed.
To succeed, they would have to show (with evidence) one or more of the following:
1) Your boyfriend was mentally incompetent when he made the will.
2) You tricked him in some way to signing the will (such as by, in a plausible way, deceiving him about what he was signing; or lying about your own finances, to make him think you needed the support, when you did not; or tricking him into thinking his children hated or had contempt fo him, so he would disinherit them; etc.), which would be fraud.
3) When he created the will, your boyfriend was in such bad shape (e.g. so ill) and you were both his caregiver and main link to the world, so that you were able to use your position of power or dominance over him to overbear his own intentions or wishes and get him to create a will he otherwise would not--this is called "undue influence."
4) The will is procedurally invalid--was not properly signed and/or witnessed.
5) You forged the will.
If they can't show this, any challenge they might make should not succeed.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.