Damascus, VA asked in Family Law and Probate for Virginia

Q: Can an adult child claim part of fathers estate in Virginia if there has been no communication for over 30 years

the child had no desire to be part of fathers life and he has been married for 13 years to his present wife & she has helped in the marriage

finances. The father has passed & his wife is his beneficiary.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr.
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Glen Allen, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: Co-sanguinity and marriage determine legal rights in an intestate decedent's estate. It is not necessary for a blood relative or cohabitating spouse to have had a close relationship with the decedent, except that a spouse who deserted or abandoned the decedent during his or her life loses rights.

Any interested person can impeach or establish a will of a decedent. If a decedent dies intestate, and is survived by a spouse and children or their descendants who are not children or descendants of the surviving spouse, then the spouse has a 1/3rd interest in the decedent's estate, and the children or their descendants have a 2/3rds interest. Surviving spouses and minor children may be entitled to certain allowances and exemptions in a decedent's estate. In addition, a surviving spouse may be entitled to claim an elective share of augmented estate of a decedent with or without a will.

Anyone with an interest in a decedent's estate should consult with an experienced Virginia probate attorney.

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