How to Disinherit an Heir from Your Will

How to Disinherit an Heir from Your Will

If you die without a will, all of the property in your estate will be distributed according to state law. This means that a surviving spouse and children will be the first to receive your property. Establishing a will is one way to gain greater control over the distribution of your assets, but there may be situations in which you want to make sure that one potential heir does not receive any property from your estate.

For instance, you could specifically state in your will that one heir is excluded. This is necessary because if you simply leave an heir out of the will, it will be assumed that you forgot to include their name, and they could receive the same portion that they typically would under state law. By not including specific heirs in your will, you could be ruled to have died “partially intestate,” and the sections of your will that do not include specific heirs could be subject to Florida’s intestate succession rules.

Sometimes, clients want to disinherit an heir who is receiving public assistance like Medicaid. They reason that receipt of even a few thousand dollars would disqualify the heir for benefits.  However, by creating a special needs trust in your will, you can leave part of your estate to a person on public assistance, thereby enhancing their life, but still not disqualify them for Medicaid or SSI or both.

The reasons for which you choose to disinherit an heir are entirely up to you. It could be that the heir is already financially well off, or that they did not get along with or respect you. It could be that they have a demonstrated problem with drugs or alcohol. Whatever the reason, if you wish to disinherit an heir you must work with an attorney to make sure that you have done so in a legally binding manner.

Consult the experienced Tampa estate planning attorneys at BaumannKangas Estate Law. for more information on putting together your will and other key documents.