What is an estranged child entitled to inherit from their late father?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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What is an estranged child entitled to inherit from their late father?

My brother died without a Will. His only child, a son, was estranged from him. He has stolen many times from my brother and other family members. My brother said to many people that he did not want his son to get anything and was going to put it in his Will. How do we fight his son getting the whole estate? We, my siblings and I, are willing to give him half of the estate.

Asked on August 30, 2019 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that when someone dies without a Wiil, they die "intestate". Accordingly, the intestacy laws of the state in which they were domiciled at the time of their death controls. As an only child, your nephew is the sole legal heir to your late brother's estate. This is true no matter what he may have said to others. This is why people should have a Will or Trust, to make sure that their assets are distributed as they wish and not how the law dictates.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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