Wondering if I should contest a will

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Wondering if I should contest a will

This is kind of a long story. I will try to make short. I am an only
child. My father remarried my Step Mom in 1969 after my real Mom passed
away in 1967 and he passed away in 1995. My step Mother got everything
when he passed away which I understand. She just recently passed away
about 6 weeks ago and her two daughter not my fathers children got
everything in the will. When my father married her so long ago he came
on board with two houses and she had her own house. My question is
should I contest this Will and do I have any legal rights to the
property he had before he married her.
Thanks for your time.

Asked on May 13, 2017 under Estate Planning, New Mexico


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You have no right to your father's property--that which he had prior to marrying your stepmother--unless he had willed it to you in HIS will; if he had, you would have received whatever was his alone (not joint or marital property) when he passed away, according to the terms of his will. But if it was all left to her, then it became her property to do with at she pleases. Since she is your stepmother, not adopted or biological mother, you have no inherent right to anything of hers, including what she got from him, when she passed--that is, even if she had no will at all, you would not inherit (stepchildren do not inherit under "intestate succession," or the rules for who gets what when there is no will). Since you would not have inherited in the absence of a will and have no other right to any of her property, you have no "standing," or legal right, to challenge her will. 

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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