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I recently found out that I am the only heir of a
person who died in 1981 in Virginia. I was known to
exist from an affair but the family say they didnt
know how to find me. I dont know if they tried. Do I
have any legal rights
Asked on August 25, 2019 under Estate Planning, Texas
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 2 years ago | Contributor
If the person died 38 years ago, it is too late--far too late--to contest whatever happened with his or her estate. There is a "statute of limitations" for how long you have to challenge an estate and you exceeded it. That you may have only found out that you are heir from Ancestry (which, by the way, is not dispositive and would not be accepted by a court anyway, without bringing its geneologists into court to testify as to how they determined the connection, etc.) is irrelevant to the fact that too much time has passed. As such, you don't have any legal rights in this situation.
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