Omitting Relatives from Your Will

Maybe you have already created a will, but now you are experiencing second thoughts regarding the way that the will was constructed. If you would like to omit certain family members from inheritance, you may need to be very explicit when doing it. Sometimes, family members may think you merely forgot about them, and will contest the will making sure that they get a piece of your inheritance.

If you want to exclude a particular relative, you should explicitly state this in your will. Include a clause in the legally drafted will that says that something like: "I have intentionally excluded the following relatives and heirs from my estate if they are living at the time of my death." This will make it fully certain that the omissions weren't a mistake.

In order to make this decision effective, you will want to officially revoke any previous wills. In some cases, your family members may refer to a former will to see if they were listed on it. You can revoke your wills by destroying them, creating a new one, or making changes to an existing will. You may also want to make a statement in your most current will that all previous wills are null and void. This will keep family members from digging up previous wills and saying that they are the "real" will.

When drafting your will which omits various relatives, you may want to check your state laws. In some states, an individual cannot revoke a spouse from his or her will. If he or she does this, the spouse can still claim an inheritance. The laws will vary depending on if you live in a community property or separate property state.

Also, some state laws will allow children to inherit in an estate if they are excluded from a will as long as they can prove that they suspect that the omission was a mistake. This is why it is essential to state that the omission is intentional. Siblings, aunts, and uncles normally won't have any inheritance claim to your fortune if you pass away. If you want more information about omitting relatives from your will, don't hesitate to locate an estate planning lawyer near you.