Losing a loved one is never easy, but the pain can become worse if you find out they did not include you in their will. These situations are not always about money, but instead the emotional betrayal and confusion that you will feel.
As a result, you may consider contesting the will upon learning of your omission. JD Supra offers a few examples of when you can file suit over a will omission.
Will omissions by family members
Spouses and children are heirs-at-law. That means they can contest wills in most cases, as it is generally assumed the deceased will leave some portion of their estate to these individuals. In this case, the heir may claim the estate holder altered their will due to undue influence. They may also claim that the person lacked the capacity to make reasonable decisions regarding their assets.
Will omission in a subsequent draft
In this case, a person may claim that you are in their will, only to create another draft prior to their death that does not include you. This is also grounds for contesting the document, during which you can once again cite undue influence or lack of testamentary capacity. You can also cite breach of contract if you and the other person made a verbal commitment to include each other in your respective wills.
Will omissions due to lack of will
In this scenario, imagine that you are caring for an ill loved one, who expresses gratitude for your assistance. They may also speak of compensating you for your help, but without any formal reference to their will or estate. If the person dies without a will, and you are not a family member, you can still file a claim to receive compensation for services rendered.
Contesting a will is about more than receiving an inheritance you believe is rightfully yours. For many people, it is also a way to receive closure after experiencing an immense loss. There are many reasons why a person might omit someone from their will, and contesting the matter can sometimes offer clarity on those reasons.