Can estranged children be disinherited?

There were 2 siblings who took care of mom. They have been estranged 20 years or more. Of course the estranged sibling wants a share of what remains once all final expenses are paid. Without a Will, expressly excluding them, I’m pretty sure they cannot be excluded.

Asked on October 17, 2017 under Estate Planning, Virginia


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

When someone dies without a Will, they are said to have died "intestate". This means that state law will control the distribution of their estate. Typicially, if their is no surviving spouse, the deceased's children split the assets equally, whether or not some or all were estranged from their parent.

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