It is not uncommon for close family members of a recently deceased individual to assume that they will receive something from the estate. Even if the bequest or inheritance is not a specific item or even something particularly valuable, they may have anticipated receiving at least a portion of the remaining funds. However, if you recently found yourself excluded from a close family member’s will, you may feel shocked.
The passing of a loved one can come with many emotions, but you may not have anticipated finding out that your parent or other loved one completely left you out of the will. It may feel even more shocking if you and your loved one had already discussed the terms of the will and you had reasonable cause to believe that he or she would leave something to you. Now, you may understandably wonder what to do.
Considering your courses of action
At first, in addition to the shock you feel, you may also feel indignant or outraged. These feelings may be intensified if someone outside the family or who was not close to your loved one has ended up with your portion of the estate. Before you take any drastic actions, you may want to consider your options.
Among the first steps you may want to consider is thoroughly reviewing the terms and details of the will. If the document submitted for probate is a newer version of a previous will, you may want to ensure that the new document meets requirements for validation under Minnesota state law. This could be particularly useful if you suspect someone of forging a new will. You could also determine whether the document’s creation occurred after your loved one lost testamentary capacity, if applicable to your situation.
Should you contest the document?
The idea of being left out or removed from a loved one’s will can certainly feel distressing. In some cases, family members may make such a decision for valid reasons, but if you suspect that some type of wrongdoing has led to this outcome, gaining more information on contesting a will in probate court may help you determine whether this action suits your circumstances. Legal cases involving will contests can prove challenging, time consuming and costly, so ensuring that it is right for you before moving forward may be wise.