If in my grandmother’s Will, she refers to a person as a grandson when in fact they are of no relation, is this legal?

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If in my grandmother’s Will, she refers to a person as a grandson when in fact they are of no relation, is this legal?

The person in question is a step-sibling, one my mother did not adopt, even though my sister and I were both adopted by my step-father. In my grandmother’s Will my step-brother is referred to several times as a grandson when he in fact is no relation to her at all. Also, in the Will, my grandmother’s name is spelled incorrectly throughout, does this invalidate the Will?

Asked on August 10, 2016 under Estate Planning, Kansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, refering to him as "grandson" will not invalidate the will, if it is clear from the will who is being referred to (i.e. he is also identified by name): any reasonable court would conclude that referring to him as "grandson" is nothing more than an experession of affection or of the closeness of the relationship. Courts will also not invalidate a will for a typo, like a misspelling, the issues you describe do not, by themselves, invalidate anything.
If you can show the will was forged, or that your grandmother was coereced or tricked into signing a will, that would be different: those facts can certainly invalidat a will. But you need much more than the errors you describe to show those things.


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