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If You Disinherit an Heir, Make Sure You Put Your Wishes in Writing

On Behalf of | Mar 16, 2022 | Estate Planning

You’ve made the difficult decision to disinherit one of your heirs. Perhaps you believe that they will simply waste the money because they haven’t been responsible in the past, or maybe it’s the exact opposite – they’ve done so well for themselves financially that you want to leave your other heirs the assets that you have.

No matter why you want to cut someone out of your will, it’s important to put it in writing. This means including a disinheritance clause in the will. Don’t simply leave that individual out or just ignore them while leaving assets to others. Write out a distinct clause saying that you want to disinherit them and that you know that that’s exactly what you’re doing. If you’d like, you can even provide a reason, although you don’t have to. It may be best simply to discuss it with this heir in advance and tell them the reason in person.

Why do you need the clause?

You’re not legally required to use a disinheritance clause. Simply not leaving anything to one of your heirs may be enough. However, this leaves the door open for an estate plan challenge. Your heir has a lot of reasons why they may say that the estate plan shouldn’t stand, such as claiming that you forgot to leave them anything or stating that it’s just an oversight. By using the inheritance clause, you make it less likely that they will challenge the will because they know it was intentional. 

Disinheriting an heir can make your estate plan more complicated, so make sure you know what legal steps to take so that your wishes for your estate are respected.