How to make sure all heirs receive their share of an estate?

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How to make sure all heirs receive their share of an estate?

My Mother is the last surviving member of her immediate family. Her sister passed away and did not have a husband or children. When applying for executor of the estate she was ask about any other heirs. She was not thinking clearly and only mention a niece and neglected to mention her own children and was not asked about her children. Can this be amended? She has not been made executor yet. If she cannot will the estate be split between her and her niece?

Asked on November 20, 2011 under Estate Planning, Maryland

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If your aunt passed away and had a Will, then the Will of your aunt assuming it was properly signed and witnessed determines who receives what assets. If not all of the aunt's relatives were not mentioned in her Will, they have no recourse to constest it from what you have written.

Ony children of the decedent who are not mentioned in the Will have a basis to contest the parent's Will. If a child is mentioned by the parent in the Will and is given nothing, that mentioned child receives nothing.

Your aunt's Will cannot be amended since she is not alive to amend it. If the aunt died without a Will, then the state determines the heirs by statute under its intestacy laws. Generally, in this type of situation, the closest degree of blood relatives receive the assets of the deceased.


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