Ohio Will Contest: Settlement Proceeds

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Daniel McGowan, a trial attorney, is an Ohio and Florida probate lawyer who handles complicated inheritance disputes.  He can be reached for a free consultation by clicking here

In a will contest, the challenger regularly reaches a settlement or compromise where the estate or others pay money to the contestant in the form of a settlement. I have been asked many times—how much can the case be settlement fore. In Ohio, there is a finite number: A will contestant can settle for any amount of money so long as it is within his personal stake in the outcome of the probate litigation case. In other words, in an Ohio will contest, the probate court will allow a challenger to receive in a settlement or general compromise, an amount up to his distributive share in the contest.

For example, in the case of Hull v. Roseman it was held that all heirs or next of kin who would have benefited by a denial of probate are not entitled to share in the net proceeds of the settlement obtained by counsel for the parties, either plaintiff or defendant, in an action to contest a will but that only those who were parties to the agreement may share in the proceeds.