Burt Reynolds omits son from inheritance

Hollywood fans in California and the world over recently mourned the unexpected passing of film superstar, Burt Reynolds. On a recent Monday in another state, Reynolds' final will was filed in court. News regarding the filing included some surprising details about inheritance.

For reasons that may forever remain unclear to the general population, Reynolds appointed his niece, not his son, as the personal representative of his estate. Not only did Reynolds not name his biological offspring as his executor, he included a provision stating that his son was to be explicitly omitted from an inheritance. All of the decedent's final possessions were placed in a trust that his niece now controls.

In his final will, Reynolds mentioned that he had already provided for his son in a living trust although no further details were given. When a person is specifically named as being omitted in a final will, he or she is not entitled to any portion of the testamentary estate in question. If, however, no written omission is included in a final will but a particular name is merely not mentioned as an heir, the excluded heir may question whether the omission was the result of coercion, undue duress or lack of testamentary capacity. 

Inheritance issues can be quite complex. Those in California who wish to contest a final will may want to first seek guidance from an experienced estate planning and administration law attorney. An attorney knows the ins and outs of the probate system and can recommend a best course of action in a particular set of circumstances.

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