Standing of Disinherited Children to Challenge Will

The children of the decedent, as intestate heirs, might not have standing to challenge the probate of a will when there is an earlier will that has not been challenged and which provides no benefit to the children. William E. Fink Estate (No. 1), 9 Fid.Rep.3d 247 (Lycoming Co. O.C. 2019).

The court having raised the issue of standing sua sponte, and allowing the parties to brief the issue of standing, the court found that the children of the decedent who had been disinherited by an earlier will did not have a “substantial, direct, and immediate” interest in the probate of the current will. William E. Fink Estate (No. 2), 9 Fid.Rep.3d 253 (Lycoming Co. O.C. 2019).

[Note: In both opinions, the court cites Superior Court decisions for the proposition that standing is jurisdictional and cannot be waived. However, as I have noted before, the Supreme Court has ruled several times that standing is not jurisdictional and can be waived. See “Standing Is not Jurisdicational.” That does not mean that the trial court was wrong to raise the issue sua sponte, or that it was wrong in concluding that the contestants did not have standing.]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.