Is there a law that requires you to list all of your children in your Will?

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Is there a law that requires you to list all of your children in your Will?

My husbands father passed away and didn’t acknowledge him or his brothers in the Will. He left everything to his current wife.

Asked on May 4, 2012 under Estate Planning, North Carolina

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Children do not have an absolute right to inherit from their parents.  This issue usually comes up when one child is left out.  In those cases the child will argue that it was a mistake. But here, it seems that all the children are left out so that the Judge, upon challenge by the children, could make the assumption that the testator did not intend to leave it to them at all.  Now, most attorneys will advise a person to specifically disinherit in  Will so that there is no question. In some states that is the only way to disinherit children.  It may be a good idea to speak with an attorney and see if this is a law there as well or if this is a "new" Will and executed when he may have been frail, etc., and if there was any undue influence by the wife.  Good luck.


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