Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
Thank you for your question. Tell me a little bit more about your will. Did you draft it yourself, or was it drafted with the assistance of an attorney?
it was done with an attorney
Do you have any particular reason to believe that the will is vulnerable to a challenge?
no i just don't want either of them to try and contest it and up set my husband
I understand. Basically, a last will and testament, if validly drafted and executed, cannot be successfully contested. If the terms of the will are not particularly complex, an attorney with even just minimal experience would be able to draft a competent and "bullet proof" document. So if you had the assistance of an attorney when drafting it, that will resolve any concerns about a contest 99.99% of the time. In short, being "family" doesn't trump a testator's right to distribute their estate as they please--either while they are living or after death.
The state places great value on the individual's right to distribute their estate as they please. If the testator's intent can be determined, the courts prefer to distribute according to that intent.
You also asked about severing family ties. Legally, that is generally not possible. We can legally make it so that a familial relationship is legally irrelevant (such as cutting the person out of the will), but there is no right for a legal determination that someone is no longer family, per se.
Does that make sense?
I understand that, i am wanting to send them a legal letter stating that they have been excluded and will keep them from contacting my husband. Isn't there any legal way to sever the family tie?
There is generally no way to legally sever someone as a family member, per se. You can divorce a spouse, and your kids can be adopted by another parent, but those are the only means of terminating the existence of a family relationship. That said, under the law, the only reason that the parent-child relationship is legally relevant in most circumstances is where one or the other dies without a valid will. So someone might be your adult son or daughter, but that relationship would generally be legally irrelevant if cut out of your will.
I say "generally" because there are always some minor exceptions. For example, you cannot legally marry your son.
So it would be relevant if you wanted to marry your son, but for purposes of a will, the legal mechanism in place is to just cut the person out of the will.
you are not telling me anything that i didn't know. There has to be a way in addition to cutting them out of the will to get them out of my life. if they don't want to be family then they need to go make their own life and leave us alone. they are not entitled to anything
I am telling you something that you didn't know: there is not a way to terminate someone as your adult child unless they are adopted. I'm sorry that I don't have better news for you in that regard, but please understand that the laws are written by your law makers, so your frustration is with them. If a family member is harassing you, you can get an order of protection (a restraining order) against them, which criminalizes contact, but they will not cease to be your adult child.
i didn't have anything before i married my husband, he had everything so 98% of the estate is his, can he disown them?
Your present husband never adopted the children of your first marriage, correct?
Well, you can't disown what you don't own in the first place :-) A step-parent and adult step-child have no legal relationship to one another--just the family member in common.
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