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What happens when you are left out of a will?

No matter how old you are or how close you are to your loved ones, they will likely make some decisions with which you do not agree. Although, as you get older, some of those choices might seem to make more sense.

To a certain extent, it may be natural to expect others to see the world similarly to the way you do. However, it is not healthy to expect someone you care about to try to live according to how you would want them to. That might include how they establish their will.

Be aware of why things may have changed

As your loved ones plan for the unexpected, you might have an idea in your mind of how they will divide their assets. Depending on your relationships and the conversations you have shared, you could be accurate. In other instances, you might question why you were excluded from a loved one’s will.

Take your favorite aunt, for example. If she left her property to someone you know she was not close to, you might wonder whether someone influenced her to divide her assets in a way other than how you believe she would have wanted. You might be interested in contesting a will if you believe another person unduly influenced your aunt to get access to her money.

How would you prove undue influence?

It can be very difficult to prove that someone coerced an elderly person to do something against his or her wishes. However, if you had a very close relationship your aunt and she left you out of her will, you might consider:

  • Did someone take advantage of your aunt for their own benefit?
  • Is her property divided in an unexpected way?
  • Was she dependent on the person you believe influenced her?
  • Did a disease make her susceptible to psychological abuse and manipulation?

Although you might be able to raise questions about your aunt’s will once she is gone, it may be wise to support her with her estate planning.

It would not be a good idea to pressure your aunt into designating you as one of her beneficiaries. However, helping her establish a will in whatever way she chooses might give her some peace. And being open to conversations about her wishes may help you carry out her desires after she passes away.

 

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