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?

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 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.


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