What can be done if I have a friend whose mother just passed away and removed my friend from her Will?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What can be done if I have a friend whose mother just passed away and removed my friend from her Will?

They have had a rocky relationship and have not talked for the last 3 years. When her Will was presented to the executor (younger sibling) my friend was not mentioned in it but her siblings were. Her mom suffered from brain cancer, so her passing was not a surprise. What was a surprise is that the mom changed her Will approximately 1 year ago and removed my friend, according to the attorney. In talking with the executor, she says that the mom was not in sound mind when she made the last change to the will and that my friend should challenge the latest will. When she made the last change; she was living with the executor and was confused. What can my friend do?

Asked on January 31, 2016 under Estate Planning, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Your friend can do what the executor suggested: she can bring a legal challenge to the will, in surrogates or probate court, on the basis of lack of mental capacity: a will is only valid if the testator (person making the will) was mentally competent when the will was made. To have a chance of prevailing, your friend would likely need some medical testimony or other strong evidence of lack of capacity; because a case like this is not a simple or easy one to make out, your friend would also be well-advised to retain an attorney to help her. Your friend needs to bear in mind that if she can't prove incompetence at the time the will was made, the will will stand; a parent has the right to disinherit a child, and the history of a rock relationship  and not speaking for years will weigh against your friend, since that will make the decision to disinherit seem more logical and reasonable (i.e. the product of a sound mind).


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption