You may want to disinherit someone when you create your estate plan. For instance, perhaps you have a child who is estranged from the family and you haven’t seen them in decades.
But it doesn’t always have to be a negative reason. Maybe you just have a child who is very successful financially. You’re going to disinherit them not as a slight, but to preserve assets for other children who need them more. No matter your reasoning, here are three ways that you can do it:
1. Leave them out of the will
As you probably expected, one of the easiest ways to do this is just to leave the person out of the will entirely. If you don’t mention them, then they don’t get to inherit any assets. The problem with doing this is that they could believe it was an oversight or an error, and they may still dispute the estate plan on those grounds.
2. Leave them a dollar
Leaving someone a dollar, or some other small and arbitrary amount of money is a common way to avoid these types of disputes. It shows that you did what you did very intentionally. You don’t want that individual to have anything, and so you specifically left them the smallest amount that you could.
3. Use a disinheritance clause
Perhaps the best idea, however, is to add a disinheritance clause to your estate plan. You don’t have to leave the person anything. But the clause still shows that your decision to omit them from the plan was intentional. This can help to explain why you did what you did and prevent a dispute. Be sure you know what legal steps to take.