Q: I'm an only child, but dad claims no descendants in his will and he sadly passed away. Do I have any rights?
Unfortunately, my dad and I have been estranged for years. He was 80 years old when he created his will, and he stated he was not married (true) and had no children (false). He has since passed and left his entire estate to a charity. In his will, he did not specifically disinherit me, mention my existence, or include any other family member by name.
However, when the probate was filed, his brothers and sisters were mentioned by name as heirs, along with the charity. Again, I am not mentioned. Even though we were estranged, as the closest living heir, do I have any rights to contest the will to keep the brothers and sisters from getting any of the estate?
Yes, you have the right to contest your father's Will. I recommend you contact the attorney who is representing the Personal Representative and let them know that you are your father's child. Be prepared to prove this fact with a birth certificate, genealogy information, old letters/cards from your father, etc.
You should also hire a probate litigator to represent you right away because there may be important deadlines to contest your father's Will.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.