I received a form in the mail that says it's an "Affidavit of Notice Regarding Estate" of a family member that lists my name. Does this mean that family member left me something in their will?
Although we hope you are left with something in that family member’s will, this type of notice does not necessarily means you are inheriting anything. This form is sent to each person named in another form the Executor or Administrator of an Estate is required to file -- the "List of Heirs." It is a form that the executor or administrator of an estate must send to everyone who would stand to receive a share of an estate under Virginia law if there had been no will. These people are called the intestate heirs.
If you are one of the people who would receive something if there had been no will, you would receive this Notice whether you were in the will or not.
Really, the purpose of the document is to serve as a notice that is required to be issued in order to make sure you and the other heirs are aware that the death occurred and that you might have an interest in the assets of the estate.
It could be, however, that your deceased family member signed a valid will leaving everything to someone else or to other people. It could also be that someone took advantage of your family member, and they either did not have the mental capacity to sign a will or they were unduly influenced to sign the will.
The notice is intended to make sure that family members have an opportunity to satisfy themselves and ensure that nothing is amiss. If you have well-grounded concerns indicating that your family member didn't understand what they were doing when they signed the will or that they were improperly influenced to sign a will, you should contact an experienced lawyer right away.
At Obenshain Law Group, we are dedicated to serving clients throughout the state of Virginia. If you have a legal matter regarding a will or your parent’s estate, you should call (540) 318-7360 to request a free consultation with one of our will contests lawyers.