Do the children ofa deceased parent have any rights if a Will does not mention them?

Everything was left to a friend.

Asked on December 9, 2011 under Estate Planning, New Jersey


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Good question. In many states in this country, there is the requirement that if the person who signs the Will (or trust) has children (natural or adopted) the children must be specifically mentioned in the Will (or trust) as the children even though the designated children are not given any bequest by the person making the Will (or trust).

If children of the decedent are not named in the Will (or trust) at all, then the children can contest the Will (or trust) as omitted heirs. If this is what happened in your situation, I recommend that you consult with an experienced Wills and trust attorney.

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