A pretermitted child or a “forgotten child” is a child of the deceased who is both:
1. born or adopted after a parent’s will is executed, and
2. is not otherwise provided for by the parent.
Most states have statutes that deal with this issue. In Texas, the statute provides that if the child is not otherwise provided for by the deceased parent, the child will take a portion of the estate even though he is not mentioned in the will. §255.051, et. seq. Remember, if there is no will, the child would inherit a child’s share of the estate so the pretermitted child statute only applies if there is a will.
I have written on my blog about the requirements pretermitted children need to show in order to receive their inheritance and referenced several cases. To see a discussion of some Texas cases on inheritance rights of pretermitted children, click here.
Update: A 2017 case out of Pennsylvania had an interesting twist in a pretermitted child case. The child, who was born before the will was executed, attempted to get around the requirement that the child had to be born after the will was executed by claiming that her father was not aware of her existence until after the will was executed. The court did not agree and denied her status as a pretermitted child because she was born before the will. Estate of Sidney Rothberg, Deceased, No. 1428 EDA 2016, 2017 PA Super 198.
If you have questions about your Texas inheritance rights and would like to talk to an estate planning attorney or a lawyer who is familiar with Texas inheritance and probate law to advise you about your Texas inheritance rights, click on the “Contact Us” tab at the top.
By Robert Ray a Texas inheritance attorney. The foregoing information is general in nature and does not apply to every fact situation. If you are concerned about Texas inheritance laws, inheritance rights, probate limits, have a family inheritance dispute, a property dispute or want to know the reasons for contesting a will or protecting a will from a contest and need an inheritance lawyer, we can help. Please click on the “Contact Us” tab above and use the contact form to contact us today. We are Texas inheritance lawyers and would love to learn about your case. There is no fee for the initial consultation.
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