Experienced Asset Protection and Estate Planning Attorney Offers Tips on Disinheriting Family Members in Estate Planning

The Presser Law Firm, P.A., Asset Protection Attorneys

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Deciding which beneficiaries to distribute assets to is always a tough decision to make when it comes to estate planning. In some families, it is clear who should inherit assets at an individual’s death. This is usually the case where there are no divorces and everyone gets along. In other families, the lines are much blurrier. Disinheriting family, however, may be necessary in some cases and may ultimately protect an estate from litigation later on. On the other hand, disinheritance can also cause damage to family relationships. Nonetheless, deciding whether or not to disinherit a family member is a very personal decision.

1. Estate Planning Defined

Estate planning is the process of planning for the disposition of one’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. While estate planning focuses on the distribution of assets, it also should specifically state if any one should not receive distributions. Estate planning typically 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. This is considered the foundation of your estate planning.

2. How to Disinherit a Family Member

Disinheriting someone from receiving gifts from an estate must be done using special language that is included in the estate planning documents. A disinheritance must be planned for ahead of time when an individual has the capacity to execute estate planning documents under proper formalities and really decide the language they prefer to use. Disinheritance language could be as simple as “I disinherit my daughter (or son) from receiving any bequests” or it could be more expansive and detailed. The language can be personalized to the particular individual and state a reason, or it could be something along the lines of “I disinherit my daughter from receiving any bequests under my last will and testament and revocable…

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