Some family units end up broken. This can involve children who are left behind after a divorce or family members who stop talking to others as a result of addiction or other complication. In the case of some fractured relationships, you might decide that you want to disinherit someone. In many cases, to successfully disinherit someone, it is best to obtain the assistance of an experienced estate planning lawyer.
Recognize the Difference Between Living Trusts and Wills
In many situations, if you decide that you want to disinherit someone, it is better to use a living trust than a will. This is because if you use a will to disinherit someone, it is easy for that individual to later challenge this decision. Another advantage of disinheriting someone through a living trust is that a will is a public document, which makes it much easier for anyone to find out about the disinheritance. Living trusts, however, are private documents, which means that there is a much greater amount of privacy.
Consider the Value of a “No Contest” Clause
If you do not plan on entirely disinheriting your children, you still might decide to leave them less than other children or heirs. By inserting a “no contest” clause into your estate planning documents, however, you can make it much more difficult for your children to challenge your estate. Although courts do not like “no contest” clauses, including these statements in estate planning tools can help to greatly reduce the risk of estate contests.
Account for Problems that Might Arise with a Surviving Spouse
If you are a parent in a blended family, you can still end up facing some substantial disinheritance related issues. One of the best ways to make sure that a surviving spouse in a blended family is protected is to give the spouse total control over the property. A living will or a trust can be used to achieve this goal. In many cases, this technique also helps to avoid inheritance contests because children will appreciate that receiving an inheritance depends on the will of the surviving stepparent.
Anticipate Undue Influence Challenges
It is a wise idea to anticipate any undue influence challenges that might arise. Undue influence occurs when a person’s intent is influenced by another person. Undue influence challenges frequently arise when there has been some type of pressure placed on a person to leave assets to someone other than the natural heirs. In these cases, the person claiming undue influence is only required to show that a testator would have made a different assignment of their assets. Fortunately, an experienced estate planning attorney can often help decrease the potential risks in an estate plan that would lead to an undue influence claim.
Speak with a Knowledgeable Estate Planning Lawyer
Disinheriting someone from an estate plan involves a number of complex decisions. If you are interested in disinheriting someone from your will, do not hesitate to speak with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney like Jim A Lyon. Contact Attorney Lyon today to schedule an initial free consultation.