There are many reasons why people are disinherited from obtaining another person’s assets through an estate plan. No matter the reason why a person wants to disinherit an individual, however, it is important to understand that disinheritance clauses are the most common and effective way to disinherit someone.

Important Things to Understand About the Law

To disinherit a person, it is essential to use clear language in estate planning documents. Sometimes, however, you might not be able to completely disinherit certain types of heirs. During a consultation, an attorney can help you determine if it is possible to disinherit the desired party.

People Who Should Not be Disinherited

Before making any changes to your will to disinherit a person, there are some important things to keep in mind. First, it is often not necessary to disinherit a person who is not a relative because that individual would not be to able to inherit under the laws of intestate succession. It is also a wise idea to refrain from disinheriting anyone who needs to handle certain matters after your death.

Using a Disinheritance Clause for a Former Spouse

If you have been involved in a divorce, but did not revise your estate plan, then it is often important to consider the need to disinherit a former spouse. A person can either execute an amendment that revises an existing estate plan. In other situations, people create new plans that include disinheritance clauses.

Disinheriting Children

A large number of people want their children to inherit their estates, but this is not always true. A person’s estate plan must state a clear disinheritance clause to show that a person did not accidentally or unintentionally overlook their child. It is important that a person is not required to note their reason for wanting to disinherit a child from their will.

Leaving Assets in Unequal Amounts

There is a significant difference between disinheriting a child and living assets to children in unequal shares. Many parents decide to divide their estate in uneven ways. These goals can be accomplished easily through the use of proper estate planning. Estate planning documents often contain a no contest clause, which clarifies that child who receives a smaller inheritance will not challenge an estate plan.

Language to Include in a Disinheritance Clause

Many people believe that the best way to disinherit someone is to use language stating that the person is left a small amount. The use of this language, however, does not remove the possibility that an unhappy beneficiary will challenge the will. Instead, the best way to disinherit a person is to use language stating that the person is specifically disinherited from the will. No matter the language that is used in a will, however, a person cannot prevent an heir from contesting a will by filing a lawsuit against their estate.

Contact a Seasoned Estate Planning Attorney Today

If you have questions about how to best implement a disinheritance clause, contact experienced estate planning attorney Jim A. Lyon today for assistance.