Living child purposely left out of will by sibling that wrote will

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Living child purposely left out of will by sibling that wrote will

My mother recently passed away in PA and was in a nursing home. Before I knew it a 21 page Will was presented to PA probate and WV probate as she had assets in WV. The signature is truly unlike anything my mother ever wrote as she was left handed and this signature was definetly rt handed. Either way, my brother’s girlfriend was the one who prepared the Will and in it where it asks for names of all living children I was completely left out as if I didnt exist. All people who witnessed and signed will know of my existance and knew my mother and I had a great relationship. Since I was not shown as a living child or even acknowledged anywhere within the legal document is this not fraud or at the very least terms to dispute the will and have I dismissed?

Asked on April 25, 2019 under Estate Planning, West Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

There is no need to leave anything to a child or even to acknowledge children, so the fact that you were not mentioned, acknowledged, etc. by itself does not create a challenge. But a will may be challenged on grounds that it is fraudulent (e.g. not signed by the person creating it but by someone else who forged the signature; or was procurred by tricking the person making it--e.g. leading her to think she was signing something else); or that the person making it was coerced into making it ("duress"); or that the person making it was not mentally competent at the time it was made. If you can prove any of these things, the will can be invalidated. 
Assuming your mother had enough assets to justify the cost of an attorney, consult with a probate attorney about the situation and whether you have a viable challenge. If there's not enough assets to make hiring a lawyer worthwhile, it is not econonically worth taking action about.


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