What if I feel that my dad was under distress while writing his Will?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What if I feel that my dad was under distress while writing his Will?

My stepmother wrote it without any of my dad’s children around and had my stepsister sign it. How do I go about that?

Asked on February 12, 2016 under Estate Planning, Virginia

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The Will that was written for your dad is NOT valid.
Your dad has to be mentally competent to write his own Will or be able to dictate the terms of the Will. Your dad has to sign the Will in the presence of two disinterested witnesses, who also sign.  Failure to comply with these requirements invalidates your dad's Will and are grounds for contesting the Will.  Another ground for contesting the Will is undue influence.
If your dad is still alive and is competent to write or dictate another Will, the new Will should state at the outset that this Will revokes all prior Wills.
If your dad has passed away, file a petition with the probate court contesting the Will that was written by your stepmother and signed by your stepsister on the grounds discussed above.
If your dad doesn't have a valid Will, the rules of intestate succession determine inheritance.  Intestate means dying without a Will.  Under intestate succession, your dad's surviving spouse inherits his entire estate and the children don't inherit anything. If there isn't a surviving spouse, the estate is divided equally among the surviving children and if any deceased children had children (your dad's granchildren) had children, those grandchildren inherit the share their deceased parent would have inherited had their deceased parent survived.


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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption