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Tactics for disinheriting someone

As you create your estate plan, you realize that you want to disinherit one of your heirs. Maybe the two of you are estranged and you simply haven’t spoken in years. Or, perhaps that person is doing very well financially and doesn’t need to inherit anything.

Whatever the reason, you’re wondering how you can disinherit someone like a biological child, who would’ve otherwise expected to inherit. Here are a few tactics to use.

Leaving them out of the will

What many people do is simply to leave this individual out of the will. This can be problematic because it opens up the door for an estate dispute, where they claim that you must have forgotten them. But, if they don’t dispute it, then simply leaving them out may be enough.

Using a disinheritance clause

A better option is generally to create a disinheritance clause. This lays out your wishes and makes it clear that you did want to disinherit the person in question. That can eliminate any grounds for a dispute. It still accomplishes the same goal, but you use active directions in your estate plan, rather than just omitting the person passively.

Leaving them a small inheritance

Another option is simply to leave them a very small inheritance. They can’t claim that you forgot them if you’ve left them $100, for example. But it’s usually better just to use a disinheritance clause. You’re not obligated to leave them anything, no matter how small.

Creating an estate plan can be complex, and you want to make sure you don’t overlook any key factors. Take the time to carefully consider your legal actions and the goals you have for your plan.