Can a non biological, yet legal, heir be cut out of the estate when the deceased dies with no will?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can a non biological, yet legal, heir be cut out of the estate when the deceased dies with no will?

My grandfather passed away in April and left no will. My Uncle was appointed by
the court to be the fiduciary for the estate. In the meantime, we have discovered
through Ancestry DNA testing that my grandfather was no my father’s biological
father. My father is deceased, and therefore my sister and I stand to inherit my
father’s portion of the estate as his heirs. My uncle now seems to be threatening
to try to cut us out. Is this possible? Do I need to seek out an attorney? My
father’s name is on my birth certificate, and his father’s name is on his, so all
the legal parent child relationships are in place.

Asked on February 2, 2018 under Estate Planning, Maine


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Please seek legal help ASAP.  It is unclear how a service like Ancestry DNA will be viewed as "proof" here and case law in the state will givern.  If your uncle is challenging parentage when all along no one else did this is a novel situation that only a Judge can rule on given the law in your state.  Your Uncle bears the burden here of prooving you have no right to inherit.  That will cost money on alll sides.  And many other facts are necessary to make this determination making this forum a difficult one to guide you in.  Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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