Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Maryland

rights of a legal heir

My uncle recently died at age 86 and to my surprise had left virtually his entire estate (value of over $1million) to my step-sister and her husband. She lives 10 minutes from my Uncles house, while my other sister lives 600 miles away and I live 450 miles away. I believe that she and her husband had convinced him to change his will within the past two years when he knew he was suffering from terminal kidney failure. She is not of blood relationship.Do either my other sister (blood relationship) or I have any recourse? I was told by my step-sister the will is in probate now.

Asked on 1/03/05, 1:12 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Raymond Weicker Qua, Hall, Harvey & Walsh
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Re: rights of a legal heir

Yes, both you and your sister have the right to challenge the will for undue influence. Based upon the unnatural distribution, the alleged recency of the document, and the ill health of your Uncle, there may be grounds to challenge this disttibution.

Please e-mail me if there are other facts or questions you wish to discuss.

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1/03/05, 1:39 pm
Robert Beatson, II Law Offices of Robert Beatson, II
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Re: rights of a legal heir

As children of the deceased, you and your sister have the right under MD law to file a caveat petition to challenge the Will of the deceased on grounds of undue influence, etc. and to file a petition for removal of the current Executor of the Estate. You and your sister also have the right under MD law to question/correct any Estate Accounting Reports and Estate Inventory Reports that are filed with the local Register of Wills and/or the local Orphans' Court that has jurisdicition over the Estate. Further information needs to be developed in connection with the filing of such legal actions. There are a number of fact-specific issues under MD law that need to be carefully worked through concerning the Will, the decedent, and the administration of the Estate. An experienced probate/estate planning attorney should be able to handle this under MD law. Please note that my legal services are available only with a signed engagement agreement in accordance with the Code of Professional Ethics applicable to attorneys licensed in the state of MD. If I can be of any help to you, give me a call as I would be pleased to provide legal support. Sincerely, Robert Beatson, II; 1-3-2005, 4:55 p.m. EST; Law Offices of Robert Beatson, II; 9818 Glynshire Way, Potomac, MD 20854; Tel/Fax 301-340-2951; email: rbeatsonatty@netscape.net; website: www.beatsonlaw.com; Licensed to practice law in DC, MD, VA, and NY.

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1/03/05, 4:51 pm

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