Can a family member contest a Will if he or she is left out?

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Can a family member contest a Will if he or she is left out?

My dad passed away and left everything to his sons but not daughters.

Asked on May 23, 2018 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First of all, a parent can disnherit their children if the choose. There is no law that a parent must name all of their children as benefciaries in their Will. That having been said, most states, have laws to protect against accidental disinheritance. For example, a child may have a right to “elect against the Will” if it appears the parent did not know about the child or if the child was born after the Will was signed (to disinherit these latter children, there must be specific disinheritance language in the Will). Otherwise, if there is a Will and a child is not in it, they are not entitled to anything. That is unless they can prove that their parent was unduly influenced or of mentally unsound mind, etc. when they prepared and signed their Will.

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First of all, a parent can disnherit their children if the choose. There is no law that a parent must name all of their children as benefciaries in their Will. That having been said, most states, have laws to protect against accidental disinheritance. For example, a child may have a right to “elect against the Will” if it appears the parent did not know about the child or if the child was born after the Will was signed (to disinherit these latter children, there must be specific disinheritance language in the Will). Otherwise, if there is a Will and a child is not in it, they are not entitled to anything. That is unless they can prove that their parent was unduly influenced or of mentally unsound mind, etc. when they prepared and signed their Will.


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