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katiet1221

My Father wrote his children out of his will when we were minors.

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My father recently and unexpectedly passed away as a result of hurricane Michael. I am 21 and live in California; and my family lives in Virginia. I traveled to VA as soon as I heard the news. I wanted to get his affairs in order ASAP as I was only in town for a limited time as I was told my sister (18) and I had to plan his funeral arrangements (My parents are divorced and he never remarried). My sister and I went to the clerk of court in my home town and made ourselves administrators of his estate, as we did not think there was a will and by VA's inheritance law she and I are legal next of kin.

 

Fast forward a few days later. After going through my father's things we come upon the will. In it, he leaves everything to his parents (his mother is deceased and his dad is now 90 years old and lives alone). He explicitly wrote my sister and I out, stating it was "in the best interest of all parties involved". As I stated earlier, my parents divorced in 2005. My sister was 4, and I was 8 at the time. A few months after the divorce, this will was written. It's extremely obvious to everyone that my dad did this specifically to spite my mother. Though it was tempting to get rid of the will, my conscience pulled at me and we decided to turn it into the clerk's office the next day. So, at this point, apparently my sister and I cannot be removed as administrators, per the clerk's office, even though according to the will at least my dad did not want us to have anything to do with his final affairs.  So my sister and I have to do all the footwork of locating and recording his assets and will not see a penny of an inheritance. 

 

Then there is the issue of my dad's father. He is currently 90 years old. My dad and he lived in my grandfather's house after my grandmother died in March. So now he lives alone. Don't get me wrong, nobody deserves to lose a child, much less lose their only child just 6 months after losing their wife of 60+ years at this stage in life. But my grandfather has never had the best interests of my family at heart. He emotionally terrorized my sister and I when my parents were going through the divorce. He physically threatened my mother right in front of me,  and would always tell me what a terrible person I was "for being just like my mother", amongst other very nasty things he'd say to me growing up. We've never had a great relationship, and though I sympathize with his loss and am praying for his continued strength, he is not family to me as far as I'm concerned. Right now his 70 year old niece is taking care of him. She claims my sister and I are doing him wrong, you know, even though we turned in my dad's will when we just as easily could have burned the thing and nobody probably would have ever known. She's also convinced him that she is his wife. She's made him get a lawyer as she anticipates a legal battle coming. Needless to say, she also does not have our family's best interest at heart. 

 

Ultimately, my question here is, even though my sister and I are now legal adults, if we were minors when we were written out of the will, are we still entitled to anything? I have already spoken to a lawyer, and he said essentially that we do not have a case. I've read numerous places you cannot write minor children out of a will, but the lawyer seems to disagree. He said to fight to contest and actually win we'd spend more than what the courts would grant us monetarily. For reference, my dad had $50,000 in the bank at the time of his death, a $50,000 life insurance policy to which his deceased mother was sole beneficiary (meaning the money would go into the estate account), possibly a $50,000 life insurance policy on my grandmother that my dad never cashed out and that he was sole beneficiary on, and a little under $50,000 in a 401k (again, that his mother was sole beneficiary of). I am at a complete loss. It sucks enough to have lost my dad in such a tragic and violent way at this young age, and having to walk my 18 year old sister through all of this, all while being across the country. But the fact that the estate is such a mess is just one more huge blow. I'd really appreciate any advice and insight anyone has to offer. Thanks in advance.

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You and your sister DO NOT have to do any footwork to locate or record the assets, as that is the job of the estate administrator, whoever that turns out to be.  Ask his father to hire a probate attorney to serve as administrator.

 

How is the funeral bill going to be paid for?  Is the funeral home willing to wait to be paid by the estate or do they want money now?

 

Please reply by showing us the clause or sentences in the will that "write out the children" and do not mention your last names.  Does it say that the children are specifically being disinherited or are the children's names just not mentioned at all as beneficiaries?  Is anyone else named as beneficiaries in this will?

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6 hours ago, katiet1221 said:

My sister and I went to the clerk of court in my home town and made ourselves administrators of his estate, as we did not think there was a will and by VA's inheritance law she and I are legal next of kin.

Knort, perhaps you didn't notice the above.

 

6 hours ago, katiet1221 said:

? I have already spoken to a lawyer, and he said essentially that we do not have a case

And this.

 

However, the two children have been relieved of the duties of administration pursuant to Va. Code Section 64.2-502.C which says "Admission of a will to probate or the grant of administration pursuant to this subsection terminates any previous grant of administration.."  

 

The children qualified before they found the will.  When they submitted the will for probate, theyessentially removed themselves as administrators. 

 

KIDS:  Notice the above and tell the sister's lawyer he is free to qualify.

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On 11/21/2018 at 12:11 AM, katiet1221 said:

Ultimately, my question here is, even though my sister and I are now legal adults, if we were minors when we were written out of the will, are we still entitled to anything?

 

No, except that, if you remain as administrators of the estate, you should be entitled to compensation for your work.

 

If I were you, I would confer with a lawyer about the appropriate way to resign as administrator of the estate (if necessary).

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