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If the attorney that drew up Stan's will/trust and Stan is disinheriting 2 of his three children. And the attorney send's those

Westland, MI |

two children letter's that they were disinherited. Then sometime during the contesting of the will this attorney states that Stan verbally stated that the one child that was the beneficary was verbally ordered to help one of the children that was disinherited. Would that hold up in court.?

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Attorney answers 4


If I understand your fact set correctly, you are saying that the dad gave his estate to one child but told that one child to help out the others once he has the money. If that is your question, the answer is no. That is not even a will contest -- that is saying that the will is correct but there are subsequent suggestions for the beneficiary after he has the money. The son that gets the money has no legal obligation to follow that sort of suggestion (no one can verbally order anyone to do anything -- this is not the military) and the testimony might not even come in.


Mr. Goldman is right.
I suspect that further investigation will show that when Stan told the lawyer that he wanted the child who got the money to "help" (whatever that means) on of the disinherited ones, the lawyer told Stan that Stan's verbal statements might carry moral weight, but would have no legal effect.

I am licensed to practice law in Michigan and Virginia and regularly handle cases of this sort. You should not rely on this answer. You should consult a lawyer so you can tell the lawyer the entire situation and get legal advice that is precisely tailored to your case.


I agree-verbal statements are not valid when it comes to wills and/or trusts.

The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.


I agree with each of my esteemed colleagues. There is nothing that can be done regarding the verbal statement. I also agree with Mr. Conway that this statement carries some moral weight. There are legal considerations and practical considerations in most cases like this. Legally, there may be little that can be done. But there are often family relationships at stake and those are far more precious than the monetary considerations. I would not destroy any chance of a future relationship with a sibling by insisting on a strict legal interpretation, so I can get a larger share of an estate than my parent intended. But legally speaking, there is not much that can be done.

James Frederick

*** 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.

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