Legal heir

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Legal heir

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 3 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. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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