I wrote the book on Minnesota probate.

Can a relative’s lies rob you of your inheritance?

On Behalf of | Dec 11, 2019 | Estate Planning |

If you have an aging parent, you likely want to encourage him or her to write an estate plan. Doing so gives your mother or father control over what happens to assets after death. If your parent has some wealth, estate planning also ensures that you receive your fair share.

Adult siblings have disagreements all the time. Unfortunately, though, you may worry about an unscrupulous relative spreading lies about you. If the lies reach your elderly parent, he or she may rewrite an estate plan to exclude or disinherit you. Luckily, you may have some legal recourse.

Legal estate plans 

Typically, individuals have wide latitude in deciding what happens with the assets they own. Nonetheless, for estate plans to be valid, they must meet certain legal requirements. Typically, they must be in writing and bear a signature. They must also satisfy all other provisions of law. As such, if your parent did not follow proper protocol when changing his or her will, the modifications may not pass legal muster.

Undue influence 

Even if your mother or father followed legal requirements in disinheriting you, you may have some options. If you can show that your lying relative exercised undue influence over your parent, you may be able to get what is rightfully yours. To prove this point, you likely must show that someone else supplanted his or her will over your mother or father’s will.


Fraud is also grounds for invalidating a will in Minnesota. If a relative told lies about you, you may be able to show that he or she was engaging in fraud. If successful, a judge may throw out the entire will or strike just the affected provisions. Either way, you win.

You should not have to stand idly by while a dishonest relative uses lies to steal your inheritance. If you suspect this has occurred, you must act quickly to protect both your parent’s wishes and your legal rights.