Dear Quentin,

My brother only in the near past passed away in June. Instead of leaving his belongings to his siblings, he selected to donate to charity — that’s, his dwelling, furnishings and all of his remaining cash. I don’t perceive why he would make such a call. We are surprised and bewildered. He has left a will outlining his needs for his property, however can this will likely be contested?

Surprised Sister

Dear Sister,

If he needed you to inherit his property, all he would have to do is make no will in any respect.

Few folks like such surprises, and nobody likes to be left with a query mark. You could or could not have had a superb relationship together with your brother. In the occasion that you just had no motive to assume dangerous blood between your brother and his siblings, it’s at all times greatest to assume that different folks’s selections don’t have anything to do with you. Don’t take it personally.

There are occasions when there are grounds for wills to be contested: a father or mother who was being managed by a “new person” of their life or an abusive baby, and/or somebody who was pressured to change their will after they weren’t of sound thoughts. In this case, nonetheless, it looks like your brother knew precisely what he was doing, and needed to assist his favourite charities. 

There is one other subject of want vs. need and love vs. cash. You would have preferred in your brother to depart you cash, however he imagine others had much less and wanted extra assist. You don’t say something in your letter about being in dire monetary straits. This was his means to give again. The undeniable fact that he didn’t depart you cash doesn’t imply he didn’t love you, however you’ll be able to love him extra by supporting his final needs.

You are not direct heirs (a parent or child); as siblings, you are collateral descendants.

A will can usually be contested on one in all three grounds: lack of testamentary capability, undue affect from a member of the family, and improper execution. The latter is commonly the best and commonest means a will is contested and/or overturned: Say the desire was improperly witnessed or not signed, or maybe a later will exists, or there was some proof of fraud.

Your brother didn’t point out the household within the will to particularly disinherit them. An individual could state they intend to disinherit their household, or alternatively, depart them a small quantity however state that they are going to forfeit even that small quantity within the occasion they contest the desire. That was not the case right here. You and your siblings might argue that your absence was an omission. 

However, you are not direct heirs (a father or mother or baby); you are collateral descendants. That, plus the truth that your brother’s will seems to be legitimate — as you don’t point out something untoward in regards to the will itself — signifies to me that it’s best to settle for your brother’s needs. Feeling aggrieved that you just didn’t inherit his property shouldn’t be sufficient to break his will. 

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