A pretermitted heir is a person who would likely stand to inherit under a will or trust, except that the person who wrote the will (testator) or trust (settlor) did not know, or did not know of, the person's existence at the time the will or trust was executed. A most likely example of a pretermitted heir is a child who was born or adopted after the execution of the will or trust.
Under sections 21620 through 21623 of the California Probate Code, the omitted child is entitled to a portion of the testator's estate even if the testator has failed to mention the child in his or her will or trust. The omitted child shall receive a share in the decedent's estate equal in value to that which the child would have received if the decedent had died intestate or without executing any testamentary instruments. Thus, the people named in the will or trust might have to give up a portion of their shares to the omitted child.
If you think you are a pretermitted heir, contact us at the Law Offices of David A. Shapiro, P.C. at 310-853-1554 and we will be happy to assist you in evaluating your particular situation.
*This blog entry was not written by an Attorney and should not be construed as professional legal advice.