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Trouble with living will by aunt who died. Not benificiary of will, but qualify as intestate heir. Need help with challenge.

San Mateo, CA |

Aunt/my mother very close. Aunt survived husband and only child. I was like her second son. My cousin is executor and she and her daughter, and her sister are listed as beneficiaries, along with a friend of the family. My aunt had asked me if I wanted to be in the will, to which I had said yes.
My mother convinced my aunt to leave me out. She now regrets that position. My cousin is not being forthright about information. I suspect deliberate intention by her to disinherit me. She claims it is up to the other beneficiaries to agree to allow me my share; however, I received a copy of the will from the court which leaves the entire matter of disbursement to her choice alone. There is more, but the jist of the matter is that I'm not being told all, and think I'm being left out illegally. Help.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Unfortunately, you have no legal right to enforce as to the estate of your aunt. You were not a named beneficiary, and the people who were named have no obligation to grant you anything from the estate. In addition, nothing suggests an issue of fraud or undue influence in the making of the will.


  2. The Will leaves too much to one person's discretion. But if it is as you say, then you have a right to challenge the administrator's discretion. You will need to prove to the court that it was your aunt's intent to leave you something to inherit. This isn't easy. I strongly advise that you seek the services of an attorney.


  3. I agree with the other attorneys in that if you are not a named beneficiary you will have an extremely difficult time convincing anyone you are entitled to a share.

    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/


  4. I agree with Mr. Perry. In addition, extrinsic evidence will not be allowed to prove your aunt's intentions.

    The general advice above does not constitute an attorney-client relationship: you haven't hired me or my firm or given me confidential information by posting on this public forum, and my answer on this public forum does not constitute attorney-client advice. IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: In order to comply with requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. While I am licensed to practice in New York and California, I do not actively practice in New York. Regardless, nothing said should be deemed an opinion of law of any state. All readers need to do their own research or pay an attorney for a legal opinion if one is necessary or desired.

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