step father inherited after mom passed

My step father and mother had wills. She passed away and step father inherited all. My step father has not updated his will since then. The will states if my mother is not surviving, all assets go to my daughter. My questions is, the will does not state step daughter. Does that make a difference? We live in Mississippi and he has 2 biological children that he does not communicate with at all. Does he need to update to include the word Step, so as they can not contest the will.

Asked on May 10, 2017 under Estate Planning, Mississippi


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

A stepdaughter (or step granddaughter) is NOT a daughter in the eyes of the law--no matter how close the relationship is emotionally or in terms of family ties, a stepdaughter (or step granddaughter) has no legal relationship to the stepparent (or step grandparent).
If your daughter is identified by name (e.g. "Jane Doe"), that is sufficient: when a person is identified by name in a will, the relationship does not matter. But if the will refers to daughter or granddaughter and not by name, then a stepdaughter might not be covered--it would be better to revise the will to make it clearer, especially since you suggest that the biological children might contest matters, your daughter is included or inherits.

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