Cleveland Will Lawyer

Helping Families in Northeast Ohio Plan for the Future.


The discussion around wills usually revolves around making them or going through them at the end of someone’s life. However, I am here to tell you that wills should be at the forefront of your mind when you have a family. All families should get started on setting up their will early so they have the necessary safeguards for an unpredictable future. Will is a critical estate planning tool and can significantly protect your assets for your children and loved ones. At Sobon Law LLC, I am dedicated to guiding and educating individuals on the importance of wills and how to structure them with your best interests in mind.

Making a Will in Ohio

A will, also called a last will and testament, is a legal document that establishes how you would like to have your property distributed upon death. In particular, you can use a will to:

  • leave your property to people or organizations;
  • name a personal guardian to care for your minor children;
  • name a trusted person to manage property you leave to minor children; and
  • name an executor to make sure that the terms of your will are carried out.

Anyone who is 18 years or older, of sound mind, and not under undue influence may make a will in Ohio. In order to be valid, a will must be written and signed as a physical hard copy, as well as witnessed by 2 people who have no interest in the will (nothing to gain from the will).

It is important to have a will because dying without one, means having no say in how assets will be transferred. Instead, your property will be distributed according to state intestacy law, which distributes according to a conventional hierarchy of close relatives – spouse and children, then grandchildren or your parents, then distant relatives.

Be aware that wills must go through the probate court. This means that any property or asset listed in the will must be transferred under the supervision of the probate court. As a result, some people might choose to have trusts in addition to wills, as property transferred through trusts do not have to go through lengthy probate proceedings (more on trusts here). However, you must nonetheless have a will even if you have a trust, as certain things can only be legally outlined in a will, such as guardianship of your minor children.

Schedule an initial consultation with Sobon Law LLC online to learn more. Polish-speaking services available.

Can You Modify or Revoke a Will?

You have the right to modify or revoke your will at any time. To formally revoke your will, you can do any of the following:

  • tear, cancel, obliterate, or destroy your will with the intent to revoke it;
  • order someone else to tear, cancel, obliterate, or destroy your will in front of you;
  • have someone else tear, cancel, obliterate, or destroy your will according to your written instructions;
  • make a new will that revokes the old one; or
  • make another writing that says it revokes the old will following the same formalities you used to make your original will (2 witnesses sign in front of you).

If you seek to change your will instead of entirely revoking it, the recommendation is still to simply revoke it and make a new one to avoid any confusion in the language. However, if you only seek to make small amendments, you can add those changes in a “codicil.” You will need to finalize these changes, though, with the same formalities you used to make the original will.

Note that Ohio law revokes any language in a will that leaves property to your spouse or names them the executor if you have formally divorced. You can include a statement in your will that you wish to keep your ex-spouse on the will, however. An experienced will attorney can better help you with this situation if applicable.

Whether you have questions about making a will or revoking an old will, Sobon Law LLC is here to help. I, Attorney Patrycja, am particularly passionate about helping young families plan for their future, so I approach will-related matters with sensitivity and care. Naturally, no one wants to talk about what will happen when they’re no longer here, however, planning for such an unforeseeable future is one of the most important things you can do for your loved ones.

It’s never too early to start thinking about your will, and Sobon Law LLC is especially experienced with working on wills with young parents and families. Most of this work can also be done electronically, other than the final step of signing the will before an attorney, and my firm has the technology and tools to provide virtual, remote assistance for your convenience.

Contact Sobon Law LLC online to schedule an initial consultation for more information.

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