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A family consists of a DAUGHTER, her MOTHER (biological) and her STEP-FATHER (her mother’s second husband). The Step-father had bequeathed all his wealth to the Mother. The Mother had bequeathed all her potential wealth to the Daughter.

The Mother is convicted of killing the Step-Father. The Step-Father’s siblings bring suit against the Mother under the slayer rule and win all her inheritance. The Daughter gets nothing. The Mother dies.

20 years later, the Daughter uncovers definitive proof exonerating the Mother.

Question: 1. Can she establish her Mother’s innocence legally in court? 2. Can she then sue her Step-father’s siblings for her inheritance which she lost due to slayer rule?

1 Answer 1

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Question 1: Yes

Posthumous Exonerations are possible. Whether this is a judicial or administrative process depends on jurisdiction.

Question 2: No

Assuming that the beneficiaries did not illegally cause the conviction, the estate is settled.

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  • Sorry for the late comment but just thought of something. Does your response depend upon timing and/or action by next of kin? Meaning, shouldn't the estate fall to the step-daughter because the judge will operate as if no will existed, so due to intestacy laws, the estate will in fact fall to the Step-daughter in the first place anyways - even in the past - without her having to do anything? Or will the judge try to settle the estate on the Mother anyways and the siblings can then bring suit and claim the inheritance? Aug 22, 2022 at 4:42
  • @NonPartisanObservor yes. If the conviction was overturned before the estate was finalized then the will would be valid and the estate would. E dealt with under it. However, as described, this is many years too late and is analogous to a legally dead person turning up alive “Oh, you’re not dead? Great. Bad news is we gave all your stuff away”.
    – Dale M
    Aug 22, 2022 at 6:56

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