I Was Left Out Of My Loved One’s Will. What Do I Do?
Being left out of a loved one’s will, especially if you believed or were told you would be included in it, is not a situation anyone wants to be in. If you were left out of your loved one’s will, it is understandable why you feel heartbroken, frustrated, or even angry. If you assumed or were told you would be included in your loved one’s will, the chances are, you were looking forward to inheriting your deceased loved one’s possessions so you could have something to remember them by. Perhaps, you were hoping your loved one’s possessions would provide you financial relief.
If you were left out of your loved one’s California will, you should know that some individuals have the legal right to inherit by law. On the other hand, other individuals do not have legal rights to inherit by law and must challenge the omission. Keep reading to learn more.
Can Your Loved One Legally Disinherit You?
It might come as a surprise but your loved one can legally disinherit you. In the U.S., every individual has the right to choose what happens to their assets when they die. Everyone has the authority to decide who inherits what and who gets nothing. However, if there is no statement in the will explicitly saying that your loved one did not leave assets to you, you may have grounds to challenge the will. On the other hand, if there is a statement in your loved one’s will explicitly saying that you should not receive any inheritance, you cannot inherit from your loved one. This is true for all relatives of a deceased person including, spouses and children.
However, there is an exception to the general rule when it comes to spouses and children. If, for instance, your deceased parent made their will before you were born, you may have legal rights to inherit by law. California law provides inheritances to children who are not included in their parents’ wills because their parents signed their wills before they were born. If this is your case, you may be eligible to receive the same portion of your parent’s estate that you would have received had they died without a will. If you are a surviving spouse who married the decedent after they signed their will, you too may have legal rights to inherit by law.
What Should You Do if You’ve Been Left Out of Your Loved One’s Will?
If you believe you were unintentionally left out of your loved one’s will, you can challenge the will in probate court. There are several grounds for challenging will in California. They include;
- Undue influence
- Lack of testamentary capacity
If you feel that you were unintentionally left out of your loved one’s will, you should speak to a probate lawyer. A lawyer can help you contest your loved one’s will.
Contact The Probate Guy for Help
If you are concerned about your inheritance or the validity of your loved one’s will in a California probate, call the dedicated California probate attorney, Robert L. Cohen – The Probate Guy – to schedule a telephonic consultation.