Benny Roshan Featured in MarketWatch's The Moneyist Discussing Deathbed Changes to an Estate Plan

December 18, 2023Media Mention

Benny Roshan, chair of Greenberg Glusker’s Trusts and Probate Litigation Group, was quoted in MarketWatch's The Moneyist in response to the question: ‘My stepfather, on the exact day he died of brain cancer, signed an addendum to his trust leaving everything to my stepsister’: Do I have any recourse?


Benazeer “Benny” Roshan, partner and chair of the Trust and Probate Litigation Group at Greenberg Glusker, says the facts described here are certainly troubling, but unfortunately not uncommon. “Deathbed changes to an estate plan are inherently suspect, especially when they upend a prior estate plan’s dispositive provisions such as beneficiary designations,” she says.

“Most jurisdictions have laws that allow an heir or beneficiary to challenge a subsequent change or amendment [described as an addendum in your letter] that eliminates their beneficial interest in a will or trust,” she adds. “A legal proceeding that formally challenges an estate plan is commonly known as a trust or will ‘contest.’”

Legal action is expensive. “Individuals whose beneficial shares of an estate are wiped out via deathbed changes should consult attorneys and explore the costs versus benefits of taking formal action,” Roshan says. “They should be aware that most jurisdictions have time limitations on bringing an action and, if one is contemplated, time may be of the essence.”