In normal cases, your close relatives have some inheritance rights over your properties. However, these rights are not cast in stone, and there are circumstances that may make your relatives lose these rights. For example, a loved one may be barred from inheriting your property if he or she:
Criminally Causes Your Death
A person who causes your death may be barred from inheriting your property. This may be the case even if he or she is your spouse, someone who usually has automatic rights to your property.
The laws governing homicide and inheritance vary by state. In most cases, an intentional killing will certainly bar a relative from inheriting your estate. However, death due to negligence may not have the same effect.
As you may suspect, there are cases where a death isn't automatically classified as intentional murder (criminal intent) or due to negligence. In such cases, it is up to the court to decide on the issue, and the relative forfeits the inheritance if the verdict is murder.
If your parent abandoned you, then he or she may be barred from inheriting your estate upon your demise. According to Nolo, a parent who commits certain crimes against a child may be barred from inheriting that child's assets. Consider an example where your parent abandoned you as a child, and has had nothing to do with you until your adulthood. If such a parent appears to claim your estate upon your demise, then he or she may be denied the chance.
It's not just parental abandonment that can interfere with a person's right to inheritance. In some states, a spouse who abandons one partner and goes to live with another person in adultery may also receive the same treatment.
Abusing a relative may also negate the perpetrator's inheritance rights. This may only be the case if the abuse is willful and malicious. Consider a spouse who cannot provide for his or her family because he or she doesn't have a job for reasons beyond his or her control. Contrast this with another spouse who refuses to provide for his or her spouse and also doesn't want to carry out his or her marital duties even though he or she has the means. The second example involves an abusive partner who may be barred from inheriting his or her partner's properties.
Note that a person rarely loses his or her inheritance rights automatically. A proof is required to show, for example, that a parent has not been involved in a child's life for many years. Therefore, these issues are often decided upon by a family court.
To learn more, contact a law firm like Waters & Associates, Attorneys At Law.
When my ex-husband decided to contest my choice to homeschool our children, I knew that I had to defend my right as the custodial parent. Our custody agreement gave me authority over educational decisions, but he still took me to court. I spent a lot of time working with an attorney to find out how best to handle it, and I did a lot of research on the laws as they applied. If you're trying to defend your educational choices amidst your divorce, this site may help. I've built it to share everything I learned and explain the process that I went through to secure my rights.