Can adult stepchildren contest a will?


My father passed away in 2020. My stepmother became ill in 2021. She reportedly completed a will stating that “she leaves all her earthly possession to her biological son.” There are 4 other adult non-biological children that were not named in the will. My father was the primary person that made the house payments prior to his death. This is also supported by the fact she set up a reverse mortgage after his death. I am also concerned about her mental state since she was ill and on hospice at the time of writing the will. Can I contest the will?


You have to have standing to contest a will. If she was not competent at the time of her executing a will and the will is thrown out by the court, either the previous will will be revived or if no will then the law of intestacy will control. If you weren’t a beneficiary of the previous will, you don’t have a reason to contest the new will. If she didn’t have a prior will, the biological child has priority. You won’t inherit.  As your father left everything to your stepmother, it is hers to with as she pleases.  If she is incompetent, she can do with it as she pleases.

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Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.

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The estate administration attorneys at the Beliveau Law Group provide legal services for probate, estate administration, and trust administration. The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida; Waltham, Massachusetts; and Salem, New Hampshire.


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