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How do you leave someone out of your will?

On Behalf of | Jul 17, 2022 | Estate Planning

It may seem easy to leave someone out of your will. You simply don’t mention them. This is the simplest way to disinherit them. The will instructs that all of your assets should go to other individuals.

And this may work in some cases, but it does leave open the door for potential disputes. If the person that you’re leaving out of your will is one of your children, for instance, they may challenge the will on the grounds that they should’ve been included and must’ve been forgotten. They will say that there’s no other reason for them not to be mentioned in the will, so it must be an oversight.

How do you rectify this?

You know that it’s not an oversight and you really did want to disinherit them, so how do you demonstrate this?

One tactic is to leave them a very small amount of assets. For instance, there are those who will leave one dollar to an heir. It’s the only thing they get in the will. But the fact that they got one dollar proves that they were not forgotten and that you intentionally left them the amount that you did.

Another tactic is to include a disinheritance clause in your estate plan. Using a clause like this, you don’t have to leave any assets to the person at all. But it still acknowledges that the disinheritance was intentional and that can be enough to stave off a dispute.

Creating an ironclad plan

You want to make sure that your estate plan is actually going to hold up and that your wishes are going to be followed. That’s why it’s so important to know what legal steps to take when you’re making this plan.