Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Virginia

Exclusion of Biological Child from Will

Is it lawful to exclude a biological child from a will? Under what circumstances can this be contested?

Asked on 2/20/01, 2:42 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Randy Masters The Law Office of Randy Masters

Re: Exclusion of Biological Child from Will

Yes, it is lawful in Virginia to exclude any or all of your children via your will (or revocable living trust, for that matter). If a person died without a will, however, his or her surviving spouse would inherit the estate, unless one or more of the intestate's children are not children and/or descendants of surviving spouse, in which case one-third of the estate would go to intestate's spouse and two-thirds to all of intestate's children.

But if a person disinherited a child via a valid will, then that--by itself--would not be enough reason to contest the will. One would have to show duress, incapacity or undue influence in order to contest a will--an uphill battle for sure (and not inexpensive to bring to court).

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Answered on 4/03/01, 11:38 am

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