I am 1 of 4 children named in my Dad's Will to inherit 1/4 of my parents estate located in Maryland. There is a clause in Dad's Will that says if either of the named to inherit violates his Will that person(s) will be excluded from his Will. The Executor of Dad's Will recently heard me ask my mom if I could stay at Dad's (and her) home for a few days while she was in the hospital; I live 374 miles from the hospital. The Executor decided to exclude me from Dad's Will because she mistakenly thought I asked if I could stay at Dad's & Mom's after mom passed away. Dad died a year and one half ago. If the Executor excludes me from my inheritance what are my legal options and how long after mom passes do I have to take action to recover my inheritance?
You are still entitled to 1/4 of the estate after your mother's death. Merely asking a question does not constitute a violation of the terms of anybody's Will. Should the Executor attempt to bar you from your inheritance after your mother passes away, unfortunately, you will need to hire an attorney to represent your beneficial interest in the estate. Good luck to you.
This information is presented as a public service. It should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor considered to be the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.
The Executor of the Will must follow the language in the Will. You should take a copy of the will to an attorney who practices probate and ask his or her advice. Generally, an exculpatory clause means that if someone challenges the will in court, he or she will be presumed to have predeceased the testator. Clauses such as this are invalid in some states. If your father passed away a year and a half ago, his estate should have been settled by now. If he left everything to your mother, you will have to abide by her Will and how she devises her property. This is why you need to consult an attorney now. There may not have been anything for you to inherit after your father passed away if everything was jointly owned with your mother or he devised all of his property to her.
Estate Planning Attorney
Well, besides the fact that asking to stay at a home is not actually contesting your inheritance, this situation sounds ridiculous. If you already smell a problem, get your own attorney and protect your rights. This does not sound like a violation of any "no contest" clause but a vindictive family member who needs to know you will assert your rights.
This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website: http://www.stevenzelinger.com/