Pretermitted Heir Definition and Legal Meaning
On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Pretermitted Heir, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.
What is Pretermitted Heir?
Under the law of property, a child or a descendant of the will-maker who has unintentionally omitted the said heir from the will, possibily due to the fact that the will-maker did not know about him. These are common in cases where the will got excecuted before the birth of the pretermitted heir or that he/she is assumed to be dead or such reasons. The pretermitted heir has the right to claim his shares of parents estate.
History and Meaning of Pretermitted Heir
A pretermitted heir is a child or a descendant of a will-maker who is unintentionally left out of the will, usually because the will-maker did not know about the heir's existence. Pretermitted heirs could also include children born after the will was executed or individuals mistakenly believed to be dead. Under property law, pretermitted heirs have the right to claim a share of their parent's estate.
The concept of pretermitted heirs dates back to English common law, which recognized the importance of protecting family members who were unintentionally excluded from a will. Today, most states have adopted the Uniform Probate Code, which sets out specific rules for how a pretermitted heir can inherit from a parent's estate.
Examples of Pretermitted Heir
Thomas writes a will leaving his entire estate to his two children. After he executes the will, Thomas has another child. He dies without updating his will, and the pretermitted child has the right to claim a share of his estate.
Maria's will leaves everything to her favorite charity. She mistakenly believed that her only child had died years earlier. After Maria's death, her child comes forward, and because they were a pretermitted heir, they will inherit from Maria's estate.
John drafts his will, leaving his estate to his wife and children. However, he accidentally forgets to include his youngest child, who was born after the will was executed. The pretermitted heir has the right to a share of his father's estate.
Legal Terms Similar to Pretermitted Heir
Intestate succession - the legal process that determines how a person's assets will be distributed if they die without a will.
Testate succession - the legal process that determines how a person's assets will be distributed according to their will.
Trust - a legal arrangement where a trustee holds assets for the benefit of a beneficiary.