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Removed from my mothers will (pretty large estate), do I have any rights?

San Jose, CA |

My mother passed away, her estate is worth 4.5 million. About 15 years ago I was removed by name from the will leaving everything to my sister. The reason to any normal person sounds ridiculous. This was after she had a stroke and was known to have fits of rage against previous long time friends. However she knew what she was doing when she cut me off and was mostly "sane" despite some outrageous actions. Do I have ANY rights, or can someone be cut off for any reason no matter how small or absurd?

Attorney Answers 4


If the will was validly executed and you are not a beneficiary, then that is the end of the analysis. Sanity is not the test of competence to execute a will. A testatrix need only be aware in general terms of the nature and extent of her estate and the identity of the "natural objects of her bounty," usually interpreted as close family members. The will can be contested, but be aware that if an attorney prepared the will and presided over the signing, that attorney will appear as a witness in support of her competence, the absence of undue influence, and the accuracy of the contents of the will as an expression of her intentions.

Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.r

This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.

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If your mother was of sound mind at the time she executed her will - and was not under any duress or coercion - then the Will is enforceable as written.

If this answer was helpful, please mark it as helpful or as a best answer. This answer is for general education purposes only. It neither creates an attorney-client relationship nor provides legal guidance or advice. The answer is based on the limited information provided and the answer might be different had additional information been provided. You should consult an attorney.

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Your mother was free to leave her estate to anyone she liked. Unfortunately, she had no obligation to name you as a beneficiary. A child can be intentionally inherited for any reason at all. Assuming there is no viable challenge to the will based on undue influence, lack of capacity, or some other theory, there is nothing that can be done.

You may wish to consult with a probate lawyer in person to be sure of your rights, rather than simply rely on comments in a public forum. There may be facts that come out in a meeting with a lawyer that are not present here and that could change the analysis.

Best of luck to you.

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I agree with these other attorneys. Particularly where your mother disinherited you by name, you cannot even argue that the omission was a mistake. You admit that, while she may have engaged in some outrageous acts, she was "for the most part sane." You have no claim against the estate.

However, if your relationship with your sister remained strong, there would be nothing preventing her from gifting some of the estate's assets to you if she chose to do so. That would be between the two of you, although gift tax returns would have to be filed.

Please note: The above is for general information purposes only. It is not intended to establish and does not establish any attorney-client relationship.

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