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(127th General Assembly)
(Senate Bill Number 302)
To amend sections 2107.03 and 2107.24 of the Revised
Code to require a will to be attested and
subscribed by the witnesses in the conscious
presence, instead of in the presence, of the
testator and to provide that a decedent who signs
a document that is a purported will sign in the
conscious presence of the witnesses.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:
SECTION 1. That sections 2107.03 and 2107.24 of the Revised
Code be amended to read as follows:
Sec. 2107.03. Except oral wills, every last will and
testament shall be in
writing, but may be handwritten or
Such The will shall be signed at
the end by the party
testator making it or by some other person in such party's
testator's conscious presence and at his the testator's express
direction, and be
attested and subscribed in the
presence of such party the testator, by two or more competent
witnesses, who saw the
testator subscribe, or heard him the
his the testator's signature.
For purposes of this section, "conscious presence" means
within the range of any of the testator's senses, excluding the
sense of sight or sound that is sensed by telephonic, electronic,
or other distant communication.
Sec. 2107.24. (A) If a document that is executed that
purports to be a will is not executed in compliance with the
requirements of section 2107.03 of the Revised Code, that document
shall be treated as if it had been executed as a will in
compliance with the requirements of that section if a probate
court, after holding a hearing, finds that the proponent of the
document as a purported will has established, by clear and
convincing evidence, all of the following:
(1) The decedent prepared the document or caused the document
to be prepared.
(2) The decedent signed the document and intended the
document to constitute the decedent's will.
Two or more witnesses saw the The decedent sign signed
the document under division (A)(2) of this section in the
conscious presence of two or more witnesses. As used in division
(A)(3) of this section, "conscious presence" means within the
range of any of the witnesses' senses, excluding the sense of
sight or sound that is sensed by telephonic, electronic, or other
(B) If the probate court holds a hearing pursuant to division
(A) of this section and finds that the proponent of the document
as a purported will has established by clear and convincing
evidence the requirements under divisions (A)(1), (2), and (3) of
this section, the executor may file an action in the probate court
to recover court costs and attorney's fees from the attorney, if
any, responsible for the execution of the document.
SECTION 2. That existing sections 2107.03 and 2107.24 of the
Revised Code are hereby repealed.