Can someone who is purposely omitted from a Will lie and file a petition saying there is no Will?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can someone who is purposely omitted from a Will lie and file a petition saying there is no Will?

My mother-in-law passed in August. There are 6 children. My wife and her sister were left everything in her estate and named the executors. The other ones were intentionally omitted from the Will. It says all their names that they are omitted and not to receive anything. Now her oldest brother who is worth millions. He is filing a petition for formal adjudication of intestacy. He is committing perjury because he knows there is a Will. On top of that he is trying to make himself the personal representative unsupervised without sureties. He had the other siblings fill out forms appointing him. How is this legal and possible? He is intentionally omitted from the will. Now because he doesn’t like that he can lie and say there is no Will? Then on top of that appoint himself personal representative. My wife has the original copy of the Will.

Asked on December 31, 2018 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It is not legal--as you say, he is lying. Remember: the court does not have any independent knowledge of what is true or not--it only knows what the parties to a lawsuit bring to or tell it. So that's how he could file the legal action: by lying. Those who do not want him to get away with this (like your wife) can challenge or oppose his action(s) and provide the proof that he is lying--they can even potentially countersue him or seek sanctions against him for his frivolous lawsuit (such as possibily seeking legal/attorney's fees). 
Probate actions--such as those involving wills--can be procedurally complex. Your wife would be well-advised to retain an attorney to help her challenge her brother's actions.

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