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Why does a person have to sign a waiver if they are not a beneficiary of a will?

1 Answers. Asked on Apr 26th, 2012 on Wills and Probate - Ohio
More details to this question:
My mother-in-law recently passed away. Months before she died she amended her will to exclude her one son, who has been estranged for years. She specifically mentions his name and the fact that he is not to receive anything. We have not set up an estate as of yet. Someone has told us that we must have a waiver signed by this son. My question is why? If the will states he is not entitled to anything, what type of waiver would he have to sign and why?
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Answered on Apr 27th, 2012 at 11:59 AM

In Ohio, notice must be sent to certain people when an estate is opened in probate court. When a person dies leaving a will, notice must be sent to every person named in the will and to all next of kin (even if not named in the will). The notice is required so that everyone entitled to inherit, as well as those who would inherit if there was no will, are aware that the will is being probated.

A waiver is different from notice in that by signing a waiver, someone is signing away a legal right to something. Generally, people who are not named in the will do not need to sign one. Assuming that the will is valid, they have no legal right to anything, so they have no rights to waive. However, there may be a specific reason why a waiver is required in your case. I suggest that you contact a probate attorney. The attorney can help you decide what steps you need to take to open the estate, and who needs to be notified.

Tonya R. Coles, Attorney at Law

Elder Law -- Estate Planning -- Probate



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