After you go through different events in your life, you may find that you no longer want to have certain people be heirs to your estate. For example, if you separate from your spouse and get a divorce, you may want to remove them from your estate plan or take relatives from their side of the family out of the equation.
When you review your estate plan with your attorney, you should discuss if deciding to disinherit a person in your estate plan is a good idea. The method you need to use to disinherit someone will depend on their relationship to you.
If you do decide to disinherit someone from your will, there are additional steps to take to make sure they don’t contest your actions. Here’s what you should know.
How do you disinherit a person from your will safely?
No matter who you want to disinherit, you need to be cautious about how you do it. Your attorney will help you determine a new beneficiary or multiple beneficiaries for your assets and leave your past beneficiaries out of your will.
When you do this, it’s smart to set up trusts and to have no-contest clauses. Set aside your assets in a trust for a specific beneficiary, so that the assets transfer to them upon your death or when the trust’s requirements are met.
On top of this, adding a no-contest clause to your will could help avoid will contests. With a no-contest clause, someone who has a smaller inheritance could potentially lose that share or face other penalties for contesting the will.
What else can you do to avoid trouble due to disinheriting people from your will?
If you are worried about people stealing assets or contesting your will, you may consider gifting those assets away during your lifetime. Sometimes, directly passing on items before your death is easier and means that others can’t dispute your actions. This is something to consider discussing when you update your estate plan, so you can make the best decisions for each of your assets and the heirs and beneficiaries that you’d like to include in your will.