Quickly Create Your Ohio Will Today
FindLaw’s attorneys have created Ohio last will and testament forms that you can quickly fill out to create a valid will from the comfort of your home. Our step-by-step process will guide you through making a customized Ohio will that provides for your estate to be administered in accordance with your wishes.
Create Your Ohio Will From Home
In Ohio, if you die without a will, your property will be distributed according to the Ohio laws of intestate succession. That means the state, and not you, will have control over how your property is split up. Writing an Ohio will ensures that you determine how your property is distributed to your loved ones after your death.
Ohio Will Options to Suit Your Needs
Last Will and Testament
For One Person
A do-it-yourself last will that’s easy to personalize.
Estate Planning Package
For One Person
All the forms you need to create a personal estate plan.
How It Works
It only takes minutes to control your future. Need help? Contact one of our directory attorneys.
Answer Key Questions
In order to get started, you need a list of your assets, accounts, contact information of important people, and wishes for the future.
Create an Account
Creating an account is easy, quick, and secure. Save your information as you go and return when you have time.
We Create Your Document
We’ve done the hard part by researching and developing your state-specific form. You simply need to follow our clear process.
Print, Sign & Make It Legal
Print and sign your documents according to the instructions. This may include signing in front of witnesses or a notary.
How to Write a Valid Ohio Will Using FindLaw’s Do-It-Yourself Service
If you want a will, you can hire a lawyer or use a will form from a reliable source. If you use a form, follow these steps: See full process
Understand Ohio’s Laws for Creating a Valid Will
A valid will in Ohio has to follow state law or it will have no effect when the testator (the person writing the will) dies. A legally insufficient will throws the estate into probate court under the laws of intestate succession, where the court and the law—not you— decide who takes what parts of your estate. A legally valid will is administered the way the testator would have wanted.
Requirements for a legally valid Ohio will:
- The testator must be 18 years of age or older, of “sound mind,” and have “testamentary intent,” which means the testator must know that they are writing a will.
- The will must be in writing. Most wills are printed, but handwritten wills, called “holographic wills,” are legal if they are in the testator’s handwriting.
- The testator must be free to write the will, both physically and mentally. The testator cannot be “under restraint.” The testator also cannot be under the “undue influence” of another. Undue influence means that a person who will benefit under the will is directing the writing of that will, rather than the testator writing it freely.
List Your Property
Decide Who Gets What
Decide Who Will Take Care of Your Dependent Children
Choose Your Executor
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Pay for the Forms
You won’t need to pay until you’ve seen what you can get from FindLaw. Then you can pay, print the forms, and follow Ohio’s legal processes to make the will valid. This is called “executing” the will. It will not be a valid will in Ohio if it remains on FindLaw’s website without validation.
Print and Execute Your Will
The will is not valid until it is executed, which means that it is signed properly according to the law. The will must be signed by the testator in the presence of at least two witnesses, or by the testator’s designated agent in the presence of the testator. The witnesses must be at least 18 years old and be “disinterested witnesses,” which means that they are not beneficiaries in the will. It is a good idea to have more than two witnesses.
Store Your Will in a Safe Place
You should store your original, executed will in a home safe, at a lawyer’s office, in a bank safe deposit box, or in some other equally secure storage space. Ohio probate courts have official storage space by law. You should also have several copies of the will with the executor and other trustworthy people, along with a note saying where the original is stored.
You May Want To Speak With a Lawyer if You:
- Have a past divorce, blended family, or other complex family situation
- Have a high-value estate
- Own a business
- Want to create a special needs trust
- Want legal review of your completed will
Ready to get started on your Ohio will? It’s free to start.Create My Will
Yes, you need a will for several reasons. Among those reasons are:
- If you die without a will in Ohio, you are deemed to have died intestate. If you die intestate, then the laws of the state of Ohio will decide how your estate is distributed. The Ohio laws of intestate succession are complicated. You would probably rather control the distribution of your estate yourself.
- If you have minor children, you can use the will to appoint a guardian of the children. You can appoint the same person to take care of the children’s welfare and their estate, or different people to do each task. This will often be written in conjunction with a trust for the minor children, although the trust itself will be a separate document.
- You can name your executor in a will. This should be someone you trust to make sure that your wishes as laid out in your will are carried out by the executor and the probate court. If you do not name an executor, the court will appoint an administrator for the will.
FindLaw is not a law firm, and the forms are not a substitute for the advice or services of an attorney. If you have a complex case, or would like a lawyer’s review of your estate planning documents, please visit our directory to find a lawyer near you.
Some websites may have forms to fill out for free wills. However, these are usually very simple wills that may not be valid for your state. FindLaw has worked with experienced attorneys to put together state-specific forms so that you will have a valid Ohio will. In addition, our step-by-step instructions make sure that you are always making the right next step.
A decedent’s estate is the sum total of everything that the decedent owned at the time of death, including all real and personal property before debts, taxes, or any other adjustments. The gross estate is the financial equivalent of the decedent’s estate if it were to be sold at market price. The gross estate is the amount that will be subject to estate tax.
The will directs the executor or administrator to distribute the decedent’s estate if the estate has assets to distribute, and to pay all bills of the estate.
You can change your will at any time after you write it and even after it is validated. You can either completely revoke it and rewrite it from the ground up or change it by adding a clause called a codicil. The codicil is used to add something to a will. If you want to make wholesale changes (like if you get a divorce, win the lottery, have a child, etc.), you should revoke and rewrite your will.
You can revoke the will just by tearing it into pieces. Writing a new will also automatically revokes the old will. The newest will always supersedes the previous wills.
A codicil requires exactly the same elements as writing an entire will, including being of sound mind, having testamentary intent, and the witness requirement.
Your will is administered in the state in which you die. If you die in Florida it will be administered there, even if you are an Ohio resident. If you have property in both states, you will also need a representative in both states.
The will is administered in probate court. A probate court will usually let the executor handle most of the estate settlement activities, unless there is a problem.
Probating a will, especially for a complex estate, can take some time. There will be court fees and there is usually a clause in the will directing those fees to be paid out of the estate. If there is a will contest, the proceedings can get lengthy, messy, and expensive.
The probate of the estate is completed when there are no further questions or transactions possible under the will, and the executor files a final accounting.
Anybody with a legal interest in the estate who does not receive their rightful share under the will can contest the will in probate court. Rightful share in Ohio means the amount that person would have had under Ohio’s rules of intestate succession. A lawyer can guide you through this very complex area of law.
Any business or person who has an uncollected debt against the decedent can bring an action in probate court for that money. Often, all of these debts are settled at one hearing.
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