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How can you disinherit someone?

You may assume that disinheriting someone is as simple as leaving them out of your will entirely. If you don’t leave them anything, then they don’t get anything. Simple. 

The truth, though, is that this can be problematic. What if they claim you forgot to put them in the will and that it was just an accident? All sorts of will challenges can come up. 

There has to be a better way that avoids future issues for your heirs. What should you do? 

Adding a specific clause 

The key is to add a disinheritance clause that specifically states that you are intentionally disinheriting that person. It is not all that complex, but it identifies the person in question, notes that they should get nothing and shows that you intended to make that decision. You haven’t forgotten. It’s not an oversight. This is what you want. 

Another option is to simply leave them a small inheritance. Some people will leave a dollar, for example. This does the same thing in many ways since it shows that you did not forget and demonstrates your intent to leave them just that small amount. However, doing this is unnecessary and can be seen as insulting. You’re usually better off to just use an inheritance clause to establish that same level of legal intent. 

Getting your plan set up

Of course, disinheriting someone is only part of planning for the future of your estate. You also need to determine who will get your assets if you want to use trusts, advance directives or powers of attorney and much more. When setting up this plan, it helps to know as much as possible about your legal options.