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Tips for Disinheriting Heirs

Tips for Disinheriting an Heir in an Estate Plan

An estate plan is one of the most personal documents an individual may create. Your estate plan details all of your assets, who they are going to and any special instructions for supplemental distributions. It is not uncommon that you may desire to specifically leave out certain family members from receiving distributions from your estate. The disinherited beneficiary could be a former spouse, a niece, sibling or even a child.

Disinheritance can occur for one of many reasons. The reasons do not necessarily have to include lack of love. For instance, you could disinherit a child because they have an issue with drugs or alcohol. You could instead have another plan in place for controlled distributions. You could have loaned one of your children funds for a business venture and prefer to split the remainder of your assets between your other children so that every child gets an equal inheritance. You could be estranged from a family member and prefer that your other family members receive distribution. Distance is another reason many people disinherit family members. Or, you could simply dislike a certain person (for one reason or another) enough to disinherit them.

A disinherited heir must always be accounted for in estate planning. Leaving them out is not always enough. Properly disinheriting an heir means placing words in your estate plan where you specifically leave them out. Another planning tip is to make sure your estate planning documents are consistent. Each respective distribution document must have the same disinheritance language. Consistency is key! Finally, you can add language such as “not for lack of love” to ensure that there is no animosity if your last will and testament and/or trust is shared or read at a table reading in front of your family or other heirs.

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