Disinheriting someone in your estate plan can cause disputes. The heir that got left out of the plan may claim that other siblings manipulated their parents through undue influence. Or they may claim that it must be an accident and that they were just forgotten during the estate planning process.
If you want to disinherit someone but you also want to limit the odds of a dispute, you need to know what steps to take. Here are two different ways that you can do so.
Use a disinheritance clause
The easiest way to disinherit someone is just to use a clause doing so in your estate plan. By writing out that you want to disinherit the person and then naming them directly, you indicate that this is an intentional choice and not an oversight. In other words, the clause makes your intentions clear, so they can’t challenge the will on the grounds that they were forgotten. This is a bit stronger than simply leaving them out of the will altogether.
Leaving them a small inheritance
Another option would be just to leave them substantially less than the other heirs. This may not disinherit them entirely, but it does show that you didn’t forget about them and that the decision was intentional. In extreme situations, some parents have opted to leave an adult child just a single dollar in order to show that they are not intended to get anything else.
As you make your estate plan, consider all of your options carefully and learn what steps to take to create the best plan for your family.