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Why use a disinheritance clause?

On Behalf of | Sep 23, 2022 | Estate Planning

Clearly, the main reason to use a disinheritance clause when doing your estate planning is because you want to cut someone out of your estate plan. You don’t want to leave them any of your assets. This person otherwise would have expected to get something – maybe they are a direct relative – and so you need to make a plan to show that you didn’t want them to receive an inheritance.

But why would you use the clause over simply not giving them an inheritance in the first place? What is the point of adding it to your estate plan?

It proves intent

The benefit of adding a disinheritance clause naming the individual and stating that they should be disinherited is that it makes your intentions very clear.

Another option that people sometimes use is just to leave the person out of the will. If you have two children and $50,000, for example, you just leave all $50,000 to one child and don’t mention the other child at all. When you pass away, the estate executor should simply give all of your money to that individual. No other clauses appear to be needed.

But the problem is that the other person may dispute the will on the grounds that they believe you forgot to give them their portion of the inheritance. Since they were not mentioned at all, there’s no way to show that you wanted to leave them out. This can lead to drawn-out disputes between siblings or even court rulings where people are given part of an inheritance that you never wanted them to have.

But if the clause is there to prove your intent, then they cannot challenge the will on the grounds that they were forgotten. There may be other reasons to do so, but the estate plan is a little more stable and secure when it’s designed this way.

Your legal options

Since it is important to make sure that you get everything right, you can see why it’s so critical to look into all of your options. You need to know how to make the plan that will best accomplish your goals for your family.