Why should you have a will?  There are a number of reasons, which include the following:

  • to direct how your property should be distributed when you die, particularly any family heirlooms or items of special meaning.
  • to designate who should be appointed as executor of your estate.
  • to give your executor the power to sell certain property or continue to conduct your business.
  • to request that your executor serve without bond, saving that expense for the estate.
  • to designate a guardian for any minor children.


Wills can also be used to create a trust to provide for minor children until they reach a certain age, or to direct probate assets to an already existing trust.

If you do not have a will your property will be distributed pursuant to the statute of descent and distribution (RC 2105.06).

In Ohio, as in most states, there are certain statutory requirements for wills to be valid.  A will may be made by any adult of sound mind and memory.  Wills generally must be in writing, and properly witnessed to be valid.  But there is an exception applicable only in limited circumstances involving a persons final illness.