If my father just passed away and left everything to a non-relative, since he disinherited his children in the Will can a grandchild contest it?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If my father just passed away and left everything to a non-relative, since he disinherited his children in the Will can a grandchild contest it?

I was told he left his house and all the contents to her and that I will get nothing. I asked to see the Will and was told they don’t have a copy. How can I find this out? If I was disinherited can my daughter, his grandchild, contest?

Asked on May 28, 2016 under Estate Planning, West Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

A parent may disinherit a child or grandchildren legally, so the fact that you or your daughter was disinherited does not, by itself, provide grounds to contest the will. However, you would have grounds to contest it if you think that the non-relative created a fake or fraudulent will, or if your father was not mentally competent when he made the will, or if the will was the product of some improper influence or duress (e.g. coercion) or of fraud. If you believe one or more of these things may have occured, you can file a legal action in chancery or surrogates court to challenge the will, and in the course of that challenge, a copy of the will must be provided. You are strongly advised to let an attorney help you with this: such a legal action is much more complex than, say, bringing a small claims case.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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