Do the children ofa deceased parent have any rights if a Will does not mention them?

UPDATED: Dec 9, 2011

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Do the children ofa deceased parent have any rights if a Will does not mention them?

Everything was left to a friend.

Asked on December 9, 2011 under Estate Planning, New Jersey


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Good question. In many states in this country, there is the requirement that if the person who signs the Will (or trust) has children (natural or adopted) the children must be specifically mentioned in the Will (or trust) as the children even though the designated children are not given any bequest by the person making the Will (or trust).

If children of the decedent are not named in the Will (or trust) at all, then the children can contest the Will (or trust) as omitted heirs. If this is what happened in your situation, I recommend that you consult with an experienced Wills and trust attorney.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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