This year brought with it several changes to probate law in Ohio. House Bill 595, also known as the “Probate Omnibus Bill,” is responsible for most of these changes to probate law. These changes range from how a trust is incorporated into a will, to contesting the validity of a trust, and more. Although it was passed in late 2018, HB 595 officially came into effect in March of 2019.

Under this new Bill, is a provision changing the way in which the validity of a trust can be contested. New changes under HB 595 reflect that no person may contest the validity of a trust regarding facts that have already been decided. This stands true only if the settlor (the person who creates the trust) submitted the trust to probate prior to his/her passing. The court must also declare the trust to be valid for this to be true. This new provision will have a big role in trust litigation which is becoming increasingly popular.

Another major change stemming from HB 595 is how a trust is incorporated into a will. Prior to HB 595 a different set of rules controlled when and how a trust was incorporated into a will. The previous rules allowed for a trust to be incorporated simply by reference; just by referring to the trust within the will qualified as incorporating. Under the new Bill rather than simply referencing the trust, the will must clearly state that the trust is “incorporated”. This only applies to those who die on or after March 22, 2109.

Other changes under the new Bill include modifications to the “slayer statute”. The “slayer statute” prohibits individuals from benefiting financially from a homicide that they were involved in. Modifications to this statute include adding involuntary manslaughter not as a result of aggravated vehicular homicide. The Bill also creates a procedure allowing those eligible as the decedent’s personal representative to receive medical records and billing. The individual may file a petition with the court to release theses records and billing for the purposes of determining wrongful death.

For questions on the new “Probate Omnibus Bill” and information on how it may impact you directly, contact Attorney Peter C. Kratcoski by email at or by phone at our offices at (330-673-3444).