My sister and I are in a stalemate.Can I contest my sisters inheritance amount based on the fact she borrowed tons of money from parents,of which I never did. She never paid them back and while mom was alive, she told me that it was coming out of her inheritance, to shut me up. I also need to know if she can contest the inheritances left to my child, as the will intended since she is childless . She believes the estate was set up unfairly and punishes her for " something she has no control over"
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
It is not up to you to decide how your parents' inheritance should be distributed. If your mother never made provisions for a disproportionate distribution, then there is little that can be done by her survivors/heirs. While you may feel this is unfair, your parents made the provisions for their estates. If you wish to contest the will, you need to retain a good probate attorney.
I absolutely agree with my colleague. Children are not *entitled* to anything. A parent can leave them any amount or nothing, if they choose. In a sense, your sister's "loans" DID come out of her inheritance. She would have otherwise received half of it upon your mother's death, regardless.
I hope that you will come to appreciate that your mother was generous to leave you what she did and to be grateful for that, instead of upset about what your sister got. I suspect that had your mother known of the fighting and the response, that she might have given everything away.
*** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state.
Ms. Goldstein and Mr. Frederick give you good advice. You are wrong in suggesting that you and your sister "are in a stalemate." And your suggestion that an inheritance is somehow deficient if it is "uneven" is also wrong.
You provide no information by which anyone can determine that there is any ground to contest your sister's inheritance. So that you know, a will need not be considered "fair" by each beneficiary.
A person can leave assets to any person he or she chooses, and can exclude anyone except a spouse.
Yo u can consult with a local attorney if you wish. Or you can take the high road, be grateful that you were included as a legatee of the estate, keep the relationship between you and your sister intact, and move on with your life.
Good luck to you.
Michael S. Haber is a New York attorney. As such, his responses to posted inquiries, such as the one above, are limited to his understanding of law in the jurisdiction in which he practices and not to any other jurisdiction. In addition, no response to any posted inquiry should be deemed to constitute legal advice, nor to constitute the existence of an attorney/client or other contractual or fiduciary relationship, inasmuch as rendering legal advice involves the ability of the attorney to ask appropriate questions of the person seeking such advice and to thus gather appropriate information. In addition, an attorney/client relationship is formed only by specific agreement. The purpose of this answer is to provide the questioner with general information, not to outline specific legal rights and remedies.