If you’re creating your estate plan and you want to disinherit one of your heirs, it essentially just means you don’t want to leave them any of your assets. They’re not going to get family heirlooms or financial assets. Perhaps you have one heir with whom you are estranged, and you have other heirs that you’d rather leave the items to instead.
What you’ve decided is that you’re just going to leave that person out of your will. You’re going to write the estate plan for all of your other heirs, and you just won’t mention the person who is being removed. This way, they’ll see that they shouldn’t get anything, but it feels like the most low-conflict way for you to do this.
A disinheritance clause is stronger
Doing this may work, in the sense that your heir will see that they weren’t left any assets and they have no right to anything. Some people simply accept this and move on.
However, without a disinheritance clause, your heir may decide to challenge the estate plan. They’ll say that it must have been an oversight, that you must have forgotten them or that someone else altered the estate plan.
If you add the disinheritance clause, it spells out your wishes. It names the person and explicitly states that you did want to disinherit them. It doesn’t guarantee that they won’t try to challenge it, but it does make your estate plan a lot stronger and helps to clear up some confusion.
Creating your plan
It’s important to know exactly what clauses you can use in your estate plan and all the legal steps you need to take to set it up.