Is it extortion/bribery if a parent requests you do A, B, C to keep you in their will?

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Is it extortion/bribery if a parent requests you do A, B, C to keep you in their will?

Is it extortion/bribery if a parent requests you do A, B, C to keep you in their will?

Asked on February 1, 2019 under Estate Planning, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

It doesn't matter if it's in writing, recorded, or if your parents put it into a notarized and witnessed letter that they send directly to the probate court: it is illegal, not improper, and not extortion or bribery. There is no legal recourse for you.
Bribery is only when you violate some law barring a payment for certain services or benefits, like those relating to government services or benefits. There is no nlaw saying that you can't be asked to do (or not do) certain things to inherit. 
Extortion is only when they are using illegal threats to deprive you of some right that you have--but the threat is not illegal, and you have no right to inherit. 
Remember: a child has no right to inherit. A parent can give the money to anyone he/she wants and can disinherit a child. It is 100% voluntary for the parent to leave assets, property, money, etc. to a child. Since it is voluntary, the parent can put any conditions he/she wants on inheriting. You simply have to choose: is the inheritance more important to you, or is more important to not do A, B, and C?


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