Did you know that someone can become an heir to your property when you didn't intend it to happen? Read on and discover some of the situations under which unexpected heirs may arise. Use this information to reexamine your estate plan to ascertain that your property will be distributed in accordance with your wishes in case you pass on.
Involvement in Testator Death
A probate court may assign some or all of your property to an unexpected heir if the individual that you had named as your heir takes part in causing your death. Such people who cause or participate in killing testators are normally denied their rights to inherit any property that had been bequeathed to them by the person who died. Another person, such as a family member, may then be given the portion of your estate that you had intended to give the one who had a hand in your death.
Testator and Heir Death
It is also possible for an unexpected heir to arise if the testator (the person who made a will) and his or her intended heir die at the same time, such as during a road accident. In such a case, the probate court will have no choice other than redistributing the share of the heir to other people in the will, or to someone who hadn't been mentioned in the will (such as a distant relative).
Marriage is one of the events in life that can affect your estate plan once you die. For example, a person who divorces and remarries affects how his or her estate will be distributed upon death. For example, the share that could have gone to the children from a previous marriage may be reduced to accommodate the children got after remarrying. This redistribution may still happen even if the kids in question (after remarriage) weren't your biological children.
Unexpected heirs can also emerge if you hadn't accounted for unborn kids while you were making your last will and testament. Such an omission may have been out of ignorance about those unborn kids. You could have also omitted updating your will as a simple oversight on your part. This lack of provision for the unborn child or children can be brought to the attention of a probate court while your estate is being distributed. The court will then gather proof that those kids are indeed your children before assigning them a share of your estate.
Contact a wills and estate lawyer for additional information.Share
26 February 2018
Hello, my name is Jenny and this is my probate law blog. I should say now, I am not a lawyer and I have not had any professional legal training. However, I do know a thing or two about probate. I taught myself a lot after the death of my grandma. My grandma left a lot of money and property behind, but unfortunately, she didn't leave a will. This lead to several family members staking a claim on the inheritance. I instructed a lawyer to act on my mother's behalf to ensure that she was not cheated out of her share.