Living child purposely left out of will by sibling that wrote will

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Living child purposely left out of will by sibling that wrote will

My mother recently passed away in PA and was in a nursing home. Before I knew it a 21 page Will was presented to PA probate and WV probate as she had assets in WV. The signature is truly unlike anything my mother ever wrote as she was left handed and this signature was definetly rt handed. Either way, my brother’s girlfriend was the one who prepared the Will and in it where it asks for names of all living children I was completely left out as if I didnt exist. All people who witnessed and signed will know of my existance and knew my mother and I had a great relationship. Since I was not shown as a living child or even acknowledged anywhere within the legal document is this not fraud or at the very least terms to dispute the will and have I dismissed?

Asked on April 25, 2019 under Estate Planning, West Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

There is no need to leave anything to a child or even to acknowledge children, so the fact that you were not mentioned, acknowledged, etc. by itself does not create a challenge. But a will may be challenged on grounds that it is fraudulent (e.g. not signed by the person creating it but by someone else who forged the signature; or was procurred by tricking the person making it--e.g. leading her to think she was signing something else); or that the person making it was coerced into making it ("duress"); or that the person making it was not mentally competent at the time it was made. If you can prove any of these things, the will can be invalidated. 
Assuming your mother had enough assets to justify the cost of an attorney, consult with a probate attorney about the situation and whether you have a viable challenge. If there's not enough assets to make hiring a lawyer worthwhile, it is not econonically worth taking action about.

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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