(A) The probate court shall declare the will valid if, after conducting a proper hearing pursuant to section 2107.083 of the Revised Code, it finds that the will was properly executed pursuant to section 2107.03 of the Revised Code or under any prior law of this state that was in effect at the time of execution and that the testator had the requisite testamentary capacity and was not under any restraint.
Any judgment under this section declaring a will valid is binding in this state as to the validity of the will on all facts found, unless provided otherwise in this section, section 2107.33 of the Revised Code, or division (B) of section 2107.71 of the Revised Code, and, if the will remains valid, shall give the will full legal effect as the instrument of disposition of the testator's estate, unless the will has been modified or revoked according to law.
(B) Any declaration of validity issued as a judgment pursuant to this section shall be sealed in an envelope along with the will to which it pertains, and filed by the probate judge or the probate judge's designee in the offices of that probate court. The filed will shall be available during the testator's lifetime only to the testator. If the testator removes a filed will from the possession of the probate judge, the declaration of validity rendered under division (A) of this section no longer has any effect.
(C) A testator may revoke or modify a will declared valid and filed with a probate court pursuant to this section by filing a complaint in the probate court in possession of the will and asking that the will be revoked or modified. The complaint shall include a document executed pursuant to sections 2107.02 and 2107.03 of the Revised Code, and shall name as parties defendant those persons who were parties defendant in any previous action declaring the will valid, those persons who are named in any modification as beneficiaries, and those persons who would be entitled because of the revocation or modification, to inherit from the testator under Chapter 2105. of the Revised Code had the testator died intestate on the date the complaint was filed. Service of the complaint and process shall be made on these parties by the methods authorized in section 2107.082 of the Revised Code.
Unless waived by all parties, the court shall conduct a hearing on the validity of the revocation or modification requested under this division in the same manner as it would on any initial complaint for a judgment declaring a will to be valid under this section. If the court finds that the revocation or modification is valid under the procedure described in division (A) of this section, the revocation or modification shall take full effect and be binding and shall revoke the will or modify it to the extent of the valid modification. The revocation or modification, the judgment declaring it valid, and the will itself shall be sealed in an envelope and filed with the probate court and shall be available during the testator's lifetime only to the testator.
(D) A will that has been declared valid under division (A) of this section and is in the possession of the probate judge may be modified by codicil if the codicil is declared valid by the same procedure as the will. A testator may revoke a will by any method permitted under section 2107.33 of the Revised Code.
(E) A declaration of validity of a will, of a codicil to a will previously declared valid, or of a revocation or modification of a will previously determined to be valid that is given under division (A) or (C) of this section, whichever is applicable, is not subject to collateral attack, except by a person and in the manner specified in division (B) of section 2107.71 of the Revised Code, but is appealable subject to the terms of Chapter 2721. of the Revised Code.
Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.52, SB 124, §1, eff. 1/13/2012.
Effective Date: 01-01-1979