If my dad left everything to his stepchildren in his Will, can his biological children challenge the Will?

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If my dad left everything to his stepchildren in his Will, can his biological children challenge the Will?

Would they be legally entitled to his estate? He was in sound mind and body an was a widower.

Asked on February 9, 2013 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that a parent can disinherit their children; children do not automatically have a right to inherit. And so long as a person who has made a Will was of sound mind and there was no undue inluence exerted over them by the named beneficiaries, etc., then it can't be successfully contested. In other words, it it valid and will stand.

Note: As a general rule, if a child is being disinherited there should be specific disinheritance language in the Will. However, most states do have laws to protect against accidental disinheritance. For example, if it appears the parent did not know about a child or if the child was born after the Will was signed. 


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