Is a draft of a will still legal in Ohio?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is a draft of a will still legal in Ohio?

We never had our attorney create a final copy
of our will. So our will has the word draft on it.
Is it still legally binding?
Also, we want to change the guardian to our
children. Should we write it in, and initial it,
would that change be legally binding?

Asked on February 7, 2019 under Estate Planning, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If the will, whether or not it says "draft" in it, was properly signed and witnessed, then it is valid and enforceable. If it was not properly signd and witnessed--which in your state (and every other state with which I am familiar, for that matter) that means you have to sign it in front of two witnesses, who then each sign in front of each other--then it is not valid or enforceable.
If a will is valid, it can only be revised or amended in the same way it was created in the first place: by adding a page (a codicil or amendment) which is signed and executed like a will. Simply initialling a change is in no way legally binding.

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 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.

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