Estate planning is an important part of life for everyone. It is crucial that you have your financial house in order before you pass away so that everything is handled as per your wishes. One major thing to consider is who will receive an inheritance upon your death. When making your will, you can include those to whom you wish to leave money or property.
For one reason or another, you may decide that you wish to disinherit someone you have included in your will. That is your right, no matter what anyone else may think. There are several things to keep in mind when you intend to disinherit someone from your will.
Why You May Want to Disinherit Someone From Your Will
There are a number of reasons why you may want to disinherit someone from your estate. It can be a very slippery slope to do with regard to family members, but it is not unheard of. Some reasons to disinherit can be based on emotions you may have for someone. They can also be based on business decisions.
Some of the most common reasons to disinherit someone can include being estranged from a family member. You may also want to protect the rights of your children over your step kids. If you give money or assets to family members while they are alive, you may then want to disinherit them from the will so that there is still something there for other beneficiaries.
You can disinherit someone for any number of reasons, but you will have to go through the proper legal channels so that it will be carried out how you want.
What You Need to Consider When Disinheriting
There are many considerations when it comes to disinheriting people from your estate, particularly when it comes to family members. Disinheriting immediate family, in particular, will come with additional steps in order to finalize your will.
Disinheriting a spouse or your child is not as easy as making a simple change to a document. In most states, there are several requirements you must meet to fully disinherit an immediate family member.
For instance, you will need to provide a clear explanation as to why you intentionally want to leave a particular person out of your will. You will need to cite evidence that you have left assets that you did not include in your will.
If your spouse decides to waive his or her rights to an inheritance left by you, proof of an enforceable agreement to this will need to be provided. A perfect example of this would be a pre-nuptial agreement.
How You Can Most Easily Disinherit Your Spouse
Although in most states, you cannot legally disinherit your spouse without jumping through a number of legal hoops, there is one option that is fairly easy and will not cost a lot of money. This also works with other family members.
In your will, you can leave a small amount of money or property to your spouse or any other relative you intend to disinherit. When you do this, include a no-contest clause in your will. This will keep anyone from possibly challenging your estate, allowing for your specific wishes to be carried out as you want.
Disinheriting anyone from your will can be a very hard thing to deal with. It is crucial that you deal with this in a smart, legal way so that there is absolutely no confusion after your death. You may even want to let those you intend to disinherit about your decision so that they have time to adjust to the idea rather than being surprised. If you need assistance with your estate planning, please contact Steve C. Benton, Attorney at Law.