Jose Fernandez, a pitcher for the Miami Marlins baseball team who met with a fatal boat accident on Sunday off Miami Beach, Florida, left behind his pregnant girlfriend Carla Mendoza and an estate worth a whopping $6.5 million. According to attorney Robert Wallack, though Fernandez and Mendoza were not married, the child would still inherit the property even if there isn’t a will.
Although the child has the right to Fernandez’s property, Mendoza doesn’t have direct right to it, according to Wallack.
“Jose’s pregnant girlfriend doesn’t have a direct inheritance right, absent an express will provision,” the Hollywood Life quoted Wallack as saying. “However, the child would be considered an ‘after-born heir’, i.e., a child conceived during the life of a parent, but after the death of that parent.”
Fernandez and Mendoza‘s unborn child would still have a direct right to the pitcher’s property, even if there is no will. Wallack said that the money would be put in trust for the child and if Mendoza is appointed a trustee then she could use a part of the fund to raise the child.
“If Jose died without a will, this child will inherit his estate, just as any other child of his would have,: he said. “The money will likely be put in trust for the child, and if his girlfriend is appointed a trustee, she will be able to use a portion of these funds to pay for the costs of raising the child, including his/her education.”
Wallack added that even if there is a will which doesn’t have the child’s name, the child would still have a right over the property. Mendoza can challenge the will and assert that it doesn’t represent the true wish or the intent of Jose Fernandez. In his career, Jose has earned $6,576,000, over the course of four seasons.
The BBC reported that just 5 days before his fatal accident, Jose Fernandez posted a picture of his pregnant girlfriend on a beach on Instagram and captioned it with “I’m so glad you came into my life. I’m ready for where this journey is gonna take us together. #familyfirst”