What do you need to know about writing a will in Ohio?

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2022 | Estate Planning

Each state has laws surrounding writing wills to determine if they are valid. You often need to have witnesses and a written copy of the will. Check Ohio’s current law to ensure you go through the process correctly.

Of sound mind and memory

Ohio law states that testators must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind and memory to write wills. You must understand what it means to write a will and the extent of your property and relationships. Improper persuasion of a testator is illegal in Ohio. When you write a will, it must be of your own free will.


Ohio only recognizes written wills, unless the testator made an oral will while dying. Printing out your will and signing it counts as a written will. You could also hand write it. Most states don’t recognize handwritten wills, but Ohio does.


You’ll need two competent witnesses who are at least 18 years old to watch you sign your will. They must also sign it to confirm it’s valid. It’s best for your witnesses to have no reason for caring about the contents of the will. This means that they shouldn’t be beneficiaries or eligible under Ohio inheritance law to receive part of your estate under intestate rules.


You need to choose an executor who is at least 18 years old, of sound mind and ideally a resident of Ohio. It’s possible to name an executor who lives out of state, but some additional rules may apply.


Check what the tax implications are for the way you want to distribute your estate. If the taxes are high, you can consult with a professional on strategies for reducing your inheritance and estate taxes. Setting up trusts is one way that you can ensure more of your estate goes to your beneficiaries.

When you write or revise a will in Ohio, you should always ensure it’s valid under state law. If you don’t follow the guidelines, then the probate court won’t recognize your will.


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