Is my son entitled to be apart of the ‘grandchildren’ will?

My son is 7. My parents wrote a will
to leave various property and assets
to ‘the grandchildren’, but the will
was written before my only child was
born. Does he have any rights to at
least add himself to the estate
since he is a grandchild? If so,
what do I have to go through to
start these procedures?

Asked on May 8, 2016 under Estate Planning, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If the will states that property or assets go to their "grandchildren," then your son, as a granchild, will inherit under it--unless specific grandchildren were named; if specific grandchildren were identified and there was also no clause leaving property to grandchildren more generally (i.e. includnig later or "afterborn" grandchildren), then only the named grandchildren will inherit.
If your parents are stil alive, they could amend or revise the will, if necessary (i.e. if specific granchildren are named) to add your son. If they have passed away, no changes to the will can be made. 
If they passed away *and* the estate was already distributed and probated before your son was born, then even if he would have otherwise inherited as a grandchild, it's too late: once the estate is probated, if other people are born or otherwise qualify to inherit, they can't, because the inheritance is already over and done.

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