Can a person leave their wealth to anyone they choose in their will?

Legal Moment on FRESH RADIO


[phone ringing]
Receptionist: Cohen Highley
Announcer: And now the Cohen Highley Legal Moment on Fresh Radio.
Announcer: I’m here with Stephanie Marentette DiBattista from Cohen Highley Lawyers.  Is a person free to leave their wealth to whomever they choose in a Will?
Stephanie Marentette Di Battista: Absolutely.  How you allocate your wealth after you die is completely up to you, but of course, any Will can be challenged.
Announcer: Are Will challenges successful?
Stephanie Marentette Di Battista: Some Will challenges are more successful than others.  There is one common challenge that is often successful: if the challenger can prove his or her claim.
Announcer: And that is?
Stephanie Marentette Di Battista: When dependants have not been adequately provided for under a Will.  Say you have an ongoing spousal support obligation.  If you have not adequately addressed that support obligation, your ex-spouse would be able to make a Dependant Claim against your estate for that support.  With child support obligations, you likewise need to make adequate provision in your Will or a similar claim could be made.  This can also include situations where adult children are dependant on your support for things such as college tuition.
Announcer: Thanks Stephanie. This has been the Cohen Highley Legal Moment.
Singers: Cohen Highley, we’re listening.

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