Tag: Disinherit

What to Do If You Want to Disinherit Someone from Your Estate

If you have chosen to disinherit someone from your estate, you need to take a few steps to ensure that your wishes are carried out. First, your estate planning documents must clearly explain the disinheritance. Second, you should be prepared for conflict if others learn of your choice. Third, it is a very good idea to speak to an estate planning lawyer and have him or her prepare the necessary documents.

  1. How to Disinherit Someone from Your Estate

Deciding not to give someone close to you any money or property upon your death is a very common choice. That person may not be in your life anymore, you may have had a serious disagreement, or you may think that he or she does not need the money. It is perfectly fine to disinherit someone if you would like, but the key is to do it effectively.

To disinherit someone from your estate in the most effective way, you need to explicitly exclude that person from your will. In other words, your will needs to state in plain terms that you do not want the person to inherit anything. Alternatively, it could state that the person should inherit only a small sum or a particular item of personal property and nothing more.

In some cases, the law does not really allow you to disinherit someone unless your will says so. For example, there are laws that protect spouses from being disinherited. Some courts will enforce these laws even if it appears that a deceased person wanted to disinherit his or her spouse.

  1. Get a Lawyer

To avoid a situation where your wishes for disinheriting someone are not carried out, get a lawyer. A good estate planning lawyer can prepare your will to your specifications. The will often should include a specific statement that you are disinheriting a person, especially if it is a close relative. Also, he or she can discuss the legal implications of disinheriting someone with you. If you need other estate planning documents to distribute your estate to your chosen heirs, your lawyer can assist with those too.

  1. Be Prepared for the Consequences

Unfortunately, your family members may be very unhappy if they learn that you plan to disinherit someone. This is especially true if the person is a close relative. Be prepared to either keep your decision a secret or explain yourself to your family. If you do keep the decision a secret, be aware that your estate could face a will dispute in probate court after your death.

Want to start planning your estate? Local attorney Andrew Szocka, Esq. provides thorough and speedy estate planning help in the Chicagoland area. To schedule a free initial consultation, visit the Law Office of Andrew Szocka, P.C. online or call the office at (815) 455-8430.

What to Do If You Have Been Disinherited from an Estate

If you were expecting an inheritance, learning that you have been disinherited from an estate could be devastating. You were probably expecting the money or property and had been counting on receiving it. In this situation, you have a few possible options, such as speaking to a lawyer, appealing to the probate court for help, or deciding to move on.

Speak to a Lawyer About the Estate

Sometimes, you feel more than just upset about not being included in the will. You may have reason to believe that you were wrongly disinherited. In that case, you should speak to a lawyer about your concerns. The lawyer will talk to you about possible reasons for overturning a will or changing the inheritances. These reasons could include:

  • The deceased person did not have legal capacity to make a will
  • Someone unduly influenced the deceased person as to the contents of the will
  • There is a newer will with different terms
  • The will was not witnessed or signed properly
  • A spouse or child is not included in the will, but the will was written before the marriage or birth

Whether you have a case for disputing the will depends on the specific circumstances at hand, so you should speak to a lawyer before taking the next step – going to court.

Appealing to the Probate Court

You can bring genuine legal disputes about wills to the local probate court. The judge will consider evidence and decide a dispute revolving around a will or a deceased person’s wishes. However, keep in mind that you must have a legal reason for disputing the will, not just dissatisfaction about who inherits what. Talk to your lawyer to learn more about the probate court process.

Moving on from an Inheritance Dispute

Often, it is better to move on from an inheritance dispute if you do not have a legal basis to dispute the will. You might have considered talking to the executor or the heirs, but they do not have the power to change the will. The executor is bound by the law to distribute the estate according to the will. So in the end, you may have to accept the will’s terms, no matter how little you like them. Consider doing some estate planning of your own instead of worrying about the will.

Need help with an estate or will issue? Local attorney Andrew Szocka, Esq. provides thorough and speedy estate planning help in the Chicagoland area. To schedule a free initial consultation, visit the Law Office of Andrew Szocka, P.C. online or call the office at (815) 455-8430.