A Will states who will receive the persons probate estate upon his or her passing. The Will can be a testamentary will or a pour over will. A testamentary will distributes the assets according to the document. A pour over will distributes assets to a trust, which are then managed according to the trust. 

 In Ohio, the person making a Will, the Testator, must be 18 or older.  The Will must be in writing, and be signed at the end by the testator (or by someone who is there and who signs at the testator's direction).  Additionally, a Will must be signed by two competent witnesses, in the presence of the testator, and who saw the testator sign or heard the testator acknowledge his or her signature. 

Oral wills are valid in Ohio if made during the testator's last illness, provided the oral declaration is then written down and subscribed by two competent disinterested witnesses within (10) days. An oral will must be probated within three months of the testator's death and is valid only to pass personal estate property.

A person making a Will must have testamentary capacity.  This means the person must understand that he or she is making a Will, comprehend generally what he or she owns, know who has natural claims to his or her bounty, and understand relationship to the members of his or her family.

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Recent surveys indicate anywhere from half to two-thirds of the population do not have a will. The top reasons cited for not having a will include procrastination, belief that a will is not needed and cost.  It is easy to procrastinate and to get caught up in daily routine, however there can be peace of mind in knowing that your basic estate planning is in place.  Costs for basic estate planning are generally reasonable, especially as compared with costs that can result from a lack of planning. 

Durbin Law Office, LLC 330-472-2083