How to Write a Will in Ohio

By Anna Assad

A will lists your final instructions for the distribution of your assets and personal belongings after your death. The executor you select is responsible for fulfilling your provisions, but he must first go through probate -- the proceedings used to validate a will -- to gain legal authority. A will made by an Ohio resident that is not prepared and executed in accordance with Ohio laws is not valid for probate in the state. The distribution of your belongings is dictated by Ohio laws if your will is not accepted for probate.

Step 1

Obtain a will form from a legal print shop. Review the form to verify the blank will is for use in the state of Ohio.

Step 2

Enter your name in the designated spot on the form. Use your legal name only. You may type or write your entries in by hand; Ohio law permits both.

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Step 3

Enter your provisions. Include all assets, personal belongings and other items you want to give to other persons in your will. Give details about assets and belongings, such as the exact address of any real estate or the make and model of your car, so your provisions are clear. Identity recipients by legal name and relationship to you, if any. You cannot fully disinherit your spouse in Ohio, but you can disinherit a child. Include the name of any child you do not want to leave anything to, and specifically state that you are disinheriting that child.

Step 4

Enter the name of your executor in the "executor" or "personal representative" section of the form. Talk to the person you want to name as executor before doing so to ensure she is prepared for the responsibility.

Step 5

Contact two persons to serve as your witnesses. Ohio laws require your witnesses be mentally sound and at least 18 years old. Ohio law does not prohibit the use of interested witnesses -- persons who stand to receive something under your will -- but using such witnesses can lead to a will contest after your death.

Step 6

Sign and date your will in front of the witnesses. Ask each witness to sign and date the witness section found on the last page of the will. File the will for safekeeping with Ohio probate court with jurisdiction over where your live, or keep the will in a secure place. Inform your executor or a trusted relative or friend of the will's location.

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How to File a Last Will & Testament in Ohio


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