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Say a grandfather has written a will that his self acquired property goes to his grand sons after his death, and will has been executed after his death and now property transferred on to his grandsons. Is there any chance of grandfather’s wife or legal heirs (daughters/sons) to claim share on this property? can any lawyer serve a notice in such case?

Jurisdiction: Karnataka, India.

  • Please edit the question (or add a tag) to include the jurisdiction. By the way, the grandsons are also legal heirs if they are named in a will. You usually can't transfer property until the estate is settled/closed. Is that the case? – mkennedy Nov 24 '19 at 19:04
  • Yes there is a chance. In some jurisdictions is is illegal to disinherit a spouse. Jurisdiction information is crucial. – user6726 Nov 25 '19 at 1:35
  • I've update question with Jurisdiction. @mkennedy – nari447 Nov 25 '19 at 2:41
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In general, a person can bequeath their assets to whoever they want.

Many jurisdictions impose a duty to make allowance for the maintenance of the testator's spouse and any dependents (usually children but could be other people). A will that doesn't do that can often be successfully challenged so that such an allowance is made. This would include the spouse in your scenario and any dependent children.

Anyone with standing can bring a suit to have the will invalidated. Having standing will usually be limited to those people who would have normally expected to benefit if the testator had died intestate or anyone who was promised something in the will as part of a contract or by the law of equity. This would include the spouse and children in your scenario. Whether they would succeed would depend on the circumstances.

An action could be brought at any time before the relevant statute of limitations expires. However, anyone who is contemplating a challenge would be wise to do so as soon as possible - courts are reluctant to undo actions taken in good faith (such as by the will's executor) if they would harm innocent third parties (such as the will's named beneficiaries).

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  • Thank you, @DaleM. In this case, Grandfather has fairly shared the remaining property to his spouse and children. He's written this Will in 2003, and he has expired in 2008 and the will has been executed in 2009 to transfer property to his grandsons. It is more than 15 years the Will remained valid and no one challenged. – nari447 Nov 25 '19 at 2:50
  • @nari447: That sounds like the situation described in the last paragraph. The time for challenge was between 2008 and 2009. The 2003 date is not relevant; wills can generally not be challenged while the person is still alive. – MSalters Nov 26 '19 at 12:39

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