Can I contest my mother’s revocable Trust?

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Can I contest my mother’s revocable Trust?

For 30 years I was the sole beneficiary of my fathers revocable trust. He acquired the property while still married to my mother and I was 14. We lived upstairs and he leased the lower 2 floors to a restaurant owner. We lived there for one and a half years and then my parents got divorced and in the settlement, my mother and father each owned 50%. My father named me beneficiary of his revocable Trust in 1988, and I was to receive his 50 ownership of the property. He remarried 20

years later, and told me I was still going to inherit his property. When my mother passed away in 2008, she left me 50% of her half of the property and the other 50% to my younger brother. 11 days after my mother passed, my father changed his revocable Trust completely, cutting me out entirely, leaving everything to his second wife. He felt that I didnt deserve anything more from him, that my mothers inheritance to me was sufficient. Almost 10 years later, he has asked me to sign

documents that his lawyer drew up, stating I will not contest his Will, trying to ensure that his wife will receive everything he owns, which is in the millions. Is it possible that I could contest his Will after he passes if I don’t sign the documents? He offered me $100,000 if I would cooperate and sign the documents. My father is 88 and his wife is my age, 64. My father told my brother that he has been having heated discussions with his wife, because she is telling him that his kids dont deserve any

money from him. She tells him that she deserves all of it. She has never worked a day since they got together. Needless to say, she is extremely greedy, I never told my father I would contest the Will but apparently his lawyer is worried. I think his estate is worth at least 5 million. I wouldn’t

Asked on November 16, 2017 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can only challenge a trust or a will if you can show that the person making it was mentally incompetent at the time he made it; was tricked or defrauded into making it; was coerced by threat of violence or criminal activity into making it. That's it: otherwise, even if the person ends up leaving little or nothing to a child, or leaving it all to someone who may not deserve it, that is not grounds to challenge it. You have to show that there was something improper about how it was made to have a viable challenge.


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