If a relative dies with a Will and next of kin are not mentioned in it, do they have any claim to an estate?

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If a relative dies with a Will and next of kin are not mentioned in it, do they have any claim to an estate?

I am only living blood relative of my aunt. She is recently deceased and there is no mention of me in her Will. She was a resident of CA; I am a resident in AZ. Do I have any legal claim to her estate?

Asked on September 6, 2011 under Estate Planning, Arizona

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There is no legal requirement that a relative be mentioned in a Will. In other words, there are not automatic rights of inheritance (even for a child let alone niece/nephew). Unless there was some type of undue influence or the like, the terms of a Will will stand whether or not blood relatives are listed as beneficiaries.

Note: The only time a blood relation would have enforced inhertiance rights is in the case where a person dies "intestate" (i.e. without a Will).


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