What are a grandchild’s rights to a granparent’s estate?

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What are a grandchild’s rights to a granparent’s estate?

My grandmother died recently. She had a son that died a few years back; I am his only child. Her Will she didn’t mention her son that had passed nor did it mention me at all. That being the case, do I have any right to what my dad would have gotten? I’m really hurt over this. I would like to know if I should have came in on his part?

Asked on February 20, 2011 under Estate Planning, Kentucky

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Believe it or not, children and grandchildren do not have a "right" to inherit from their parents.  It is a privilege.  So if a parent wants to write a child out of his or her estate they can indeed do so.  And that would include the children of the child as well.  Some states, though, do require that a child be disinherited in a certain way or at least mentioned in some way in order to prove that a testator knew the "object of his or her bounty" at the time they made out the Will.  This is so there is no issue as to competency.  Some states also only recognize children who have survived the testator (your Grandmother here) as having the ability to inherit. I would take the Will to an attorney in your area and discuss your options. If you think that your grandmother was unduly influenced in some way to exclude you as the child of her child then explore that issue.  Good luck to you.


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