Using Estate Planning to Disinherit Family Members

Dunlap Law Insights

When they think of their end-of-life wishes, many Minnesota residents may think of whom they want to leave assets to. However, some of them may also think about who they do not want to receive anything. Family relationships are not always loving or healthy, and as a result, some individuals may be interested in ways to disinherit family members as they go through the estate planning process.

Some people may reach a point where they are no longer happy in their marriages but do not feel that divorce is the right step, or they may worry that they will pass away before a divorce is finalized. As a result, they may want to use their estate planning documents to disinherit a spouse. Because most state laws allow for a spouse to be entitled to a portion of the estate, even if a divorce was underway, it is important that individuals use the right documents to disinherit a spouse, which may involve getting the spouse in agreement.

If a person does not want to completely disinherit a family member but does want to leave that family member with less of an inheritance, a no-contest clause in a will may be useful. This clause would result in a person losing all of his or her inheritance if the will is contested. However, it is important to remember that if a person is left with nothing, the no-contest clause is not as effective because the person already has nothing to lose.

Though many people may not think of disinheriting loved ones, it is not an uncommon occurrence. If Minnesota residents believe that leaving a family member with little or nothing is what they want to do, it may be useful for them to thoroughly explore their options for doing so. It may take some extra effort, but with the right estate planning help, those goals could be accomplished.