Being a beneficiary of a will can be an awkward position. Benefiting from someone else's death can cause conflicting feelings of gratitude and guilt. However, being "cut out" of a loved one's will can be devastating, emotionally and financially. If you have been left out of the will of your parents or a spouse, the emotional issues will linger, but you may have legal options.
If you are left out of a parent's will, it may not be meant as an insult. If your financial circumstances are better than your siblings, your parent may simply have been giving the money to those who needed it most. Even if the omission is deliberate, you may have grounds to contest the will by enlisting the aid of a good probate law attorney. Hurt feelings alone will not be reason enough for the will to be overturned. Your attorney will need to prove something was amiss with either the will or the deceased. For instance, if your parent was not mentally fit to make a proper will, you might be able to have the will tossed out. Also, if your parent was living with one child and left everything to that child, you might be able to prove "undue influence." Laws also vary state by state, so the will itself might not have been created properly. A number of issues can be raised that sometimes can make the current will null and void.
If your spouse dies and their will disinherits you, it likely will not stand. Of course, your community property portion is protected, but if your spouse tried to leave their part of the estate to a child or close friend, the provisions will probably not be upheld. Most states have laws that prevent this type of action on the part of a spouse. You should be allowed to inherit at least a portion of the estate. Of course, if you entered into a prenuptial agreement that prohibits you from inheriting anything, you will have fewer options. Even in the case of a prenup, however, a judge will sometimes intervene on your behalf.
Being cut out of a will is a painful occurrence. The pain and sorrow of such an event can last a lifetime. Often, your best route is to move along in your life and let the issue go. If you want to pursue legal action, you may have a case. Consult with a qualified probate attorney to find out if a legal action is practical. Click here for more info on this topic.
Hello, I'm Christina Miller. Have you ever been fascinated with why the law works the way it does? Ever since I was in junior high, I had an intense interest in anything related to our legal system, whether it be a crime drama on television, a judge show or a legal case covered on the news. I followed it all. As time progressed, I began learning about how the actual legal system worked and not just the fictionalized version of our legal system. This has lead me to start writing my own blog posts about law that I hope will help others.