When it comes to drafting your final will and testament, your current situation can have a significant impact on who you put in your will and what they receive after you pass away. A bitter argument between a sibling could turn into a spiteful disinheritance, which can leave a lasting impression on the entire family. But what does it mean to be disinherited and how will this effect the distribution of your estate after you die?
To disinherit someone means to specifically write or make changes to a will that prevent a person from inheriting something from said will. It’s important to remember though, that while you may be doing this out of spite, the wording used in your will can make a huge difference in the end. As many estate planning experts will tell you, even purposefully leaving someone’s name out of a will can be viewed as a mistake by a judge, allowing the person to inherit what you may not have wanted them to have.
While most people here in Texas, as well as across the country, think of disinheriting someone as a negative thing, in some cases, it may be done for other reasons. In one such case, an elderly woman disinherited her 44-year-old daughter because she felt she was well off enough to not receive an inheritance like her other siblings. While this may have been the case at the time of drafting the will, it’s important to point out that situations can change for the worse and it’s in these circumstances that an inheritance would be a nice safety net.
Estate planning laws change from state to state, so speaking with an experience attorney can be incredibly helpful, especially when it comes to who you can and can’t disinherit from your will. It’s also important to consider whether hurt feelings could create legal drama for other family members down the road. The more you consider these difficulties now, the better you can prevent them in the future.
Source: CNBC News, “How to Disinherit Loved Ones—And Which You Can’t,” Reuters News, Feb. 1, 2013