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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 32579
Experience:  Estate Law Expert
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Is there a time limit to filing a will once someone passes

Customer Question

Hi - My name is ***** *****. Is there a time limit to filing a will once someone passes away? Specifically in Ohio.
JA: What documents or supporting evidence do you have?
Customer: My aunt by marriage passed away over a year ago; my Uncle recently passed away and left my sister and I his estate. Now, my aunts daughter - from a previous marriage is claiming that her mother left a will (which was never filed) and is now claiming mother portion of house is hers.
JA: Since estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Ohio
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Just trying to figure out what circumstances might entitle her to anything. If my Uncle and Aunt were joint tenancy of home wouldn't it automatically go to my uncle.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 months ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 months ago.

A will must be filed for probate within 20 years of the date of the person's death. However, that time can be waived by the judge so, realistically, there is no time limit.

If the home were owned as joint tenants with right of survivorship then it would go to the other owner upon death. However, there is a also a joint tenancy where it does not pass to the co-owner.

If someone else is claiming there is a will then they must offer that will to probate and have the court determine whether or not it is valid. In addition, if a probate was already done and the other person had notice of the probate and didn't raise the issue of another will they likely have waived the right to raise the issue, although that would be a determination that the court had to make.

The aunt's daughter has to go to court to get any relief at all. It's not something she is just automatically entitled to.

If your question has been answered then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work. Of course, please feel free to ask any follow up questions in this thread. I want to be sure that all of your questions are answered.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 months ago.

Also, if the daughter wanted to contest the probate they have a limited amount of time to do so.

The statute on that issue states:

2107.76 Will contest action - time limits.
No person who has received or waived the right to receive the notice of the admission of a will to probate required by section 2107.19 of the Revised Code may commence an action permitted by section 2107.71 of the Revised Code to contest the validity of the will more than three months after the filing of the certificate described in division (A)(3) of section 2107.19 of the Revised Code. No other person may commence an action permitted by section 2107.71 of the Revised Code to contest the validity of the will more than three months after the initial filing of a certificate described in division (A)(3) of section 2107.19 of the Revised Code. A person under any legal disability nevertheless may commence an action permitted by section 2107.71 of the Revised Code to contest the validity of the will within three months after the disability is removed, but the rights saved shall not affect the rights of a purchaser, lessee, or encumbrancer for value in good faith and shall not impose any liability upon a fiduciary who has acted in good faith, or upon a person delivering or transferring property to any other person under authority of a will, whether or not the purchaser, lessee, encumbrancer, fiduciary, or other person had actual or constructive notice of the legal disability.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 months ago.

I believe I have answered your question(s) but I will be on and off the computer the rest of the evening and back on tomorrow morning. If you have any follow up questions please feel free to post them and I will try to answer them tonight.