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

Answers:

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.


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