A will is a document that provides for the way in which a person's probate property will be distributed upon death. For the will to be valid, it must meet certain formal requirements as provided by the laws of the state involved. With limited exceptions, a will must be written. A will must be witnessed in a special manner provided by law, and it must be signed in strict accordance with the law.

A person who makes a will in Ohio must be free from improper influences, must be at least 18 years old and must be of sound mind.

A will may be changed as often as the person who wrote it wishes. Changes are frequently made by the simple device of an addition called a "codicil." However, changes should not be made without the assistance and advice of a lawyer to ensure changes will be legally valid and will not adversely affect other portions of the will.

A will that is properly drawn and executed is generally effective until it is changed or revoked. Changes in circumstances after a will has been made, such as tax law changes, marriage, birth of children, divorce or even a substantial change in the nature or amount of a person's estate, may raise questions about the adequacy of that will.

A properly drafted will may reduce expenses of administration in a number of ways. Provisions can be placed in wills that take full advantage of the "marital deduction" section of federal estate tax laws. In most cases it is possible to avoid the payment of a bond for the executor by so providing in the will. A guardian for your minor children may be designated in a will. These examples illustrate that a will can save money for you and your family.