October 29th, 2022 in
My father left his estate to someone else. Do I have a right to inherit my father’s estate? When Karin’s and John’s father passed away, they expected they would inherit their father’s estate since they were his only children and he was not married when he passed away. When they located his estate plan, they found that their father left his entire estate to someone who is not family. They were shocked and surprised. Is there a right to inherit from your parents?
Simply put, there is not a right to inherit from anyone. If the decedent executed the estate plan with his or her own free will free of any undue influence and had the capacity to do so, a person can name any beneficiaries he or she chooses. If Karin and John do not do anything, the estate plan is considered valid. In order to set it aside, a petition must be filed in the court to set aside the trust or will. This is called a trust or will contest.
The will or trust contest challenges the will or trust based on undue influence, fraud or lack of capacity. To set aside the will or trust, they will need to show their father lacked capacity or was being manipulated to disinherit his children. They will have the opportunity to find evidence to prove their case. The court after hearing all of the evidence will make a determination as to whether the will or trust is valid.
If the person had severe dementia and could not remember he had children when the estate plan was signed, it is highly likely he did not have capacity to execute the document and the court will set it aside. Whether a trust or will is valid is determined by facts and circumstances which are specific to each case. Contact our team for help with your case.