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Disinheriting a Family Member in Estate Planning

Estate planning is the process of planning for the disposition of an individual’s assets at their death. Estate planning can also involve the process of making sure an individual’s family is taken care of in the event of incapacity and/or death. To the contrary, in some instances, family members need to be specifically excluded from receiving bequests under estate planning documents. This could be because such family members have grown distant, or another reason could be that the excluded family members may be more likely to cause trouble to an estate by instituting estate litigation. In order to disinherit family members, certain formalities need to be followed.

First, it is important to review what estate planning typically involves. Estate planning includes incapacity planning documents (durable power for health care, durable power of attorney for finances as well as a HIPAA Release), a last will and testament and a revocable living trust. Incapacity planning documents are put in place to avoid the necessity of guardianship in the event an individual becomes incapacitated. The last will and testament and revocable living trust are the documents that provide for asset distributions and dictate what occurs when an individual dies.

The disinheritance language should be included in the dispositive documents (last will and testament and revocable living trust). Disinheritance language could be as simple as “I disinherit my daughter from receiving any bequests” or it could be more expansive and detailed. Such language should be included in all of the dispositive documents (including the last will and testament and revocable living trust). In cases of married couples, the disinheritance language should be included in both of the husband and wife’s estate planning to allow for consistency.

‚ÄčContact The Presser Law Firm, P.A. if you or a loved one is interested in having an estate plan prepared. Our attorneys are knowledgeable in estate planning, asset protection and business law.

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The Presser Law Firm, P.A. - Asset Protection Attorney
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