The Importance of Depositing a Will with Probate- An Important Change in the Law

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Under Ohio law, if a beneficiary (a person entitled to inherit property) under a Last Will and Testament, with the power to control a will withholds it from probate for one year after the death of the testator (the person whose will it was) intentionally and without reasonable cause, the property devised (to be inherited) by the beneficiary will pass as if the beneficiary had predeceased the testator.

What that means in a nut shell is that if you are holding onto a Last Will and Testament, of your mother or father for instance, and he or she dies and you don’t deposit the Will with probate court within a year of his or her death, then you will lose your right to inherit any probate property under the Will.

Previously, the law required a person to withhold a Will for three years to lose an inheritance. However, the change to one year put many more people at risk of losing an inheritance.

On April 6, 2017, the law was changed to make it cheaper and easier to deposit a will. For $25, a will may be deposited before or after death without the requirement to admit the will to probate.  Even if there are no known probate assets at the time of death, it is wise to deposit the will to protect against losing the inheritance in the future should probate assets be discovered.

For more information on probate and estate administration, contact a Cleveland probate lawyer.