Can You Really Leave People Off Your Last Will And Testament (And Can They Contest?)

Creating a last will is a sage decision that lets you leave an official legal document that allows you to distribute your assets, properties, and other valuables to your loved ones, leaving your hard work in good hands. However, there are times when you don't want a person to be part of your will, and though complicated, you can leave him out of it.

It's wise to consult with experienced attorneys from a reputable law firm to understand the process more. However, to give you an idea about the subject here's a quick rundown of how you can leave people out of your will.

Who Is Considered an Heir?

An heir is a person entitled to inherit properties, assets, and other valuables when the owner of these dies without an official will. Almost all states follow the same order of 'heir' succession to identify which individuals can inherit something if the owner dies without a last will. This succession list has no boundaries and can go on until a person that's most closely related to the owner who died is identified.

Limitations on Whom You Can Omit

In the United States, all states besides Georgia bans the disinheritance of spouses as an heir. That's unless they sign an official legal agreement. While in Louisiana, officials have prohibited testators for disinheriting disabled individuals younger than 23 years old or those who're permanently and physically handicapped.

Finally, no state allows any testator to disinherit individuals younger than 18 years old for whatever reason.

Alternatives to Leaving Heirs Out of Your Will

If you're concerned that leaving everything you've worked so hard for to a rightful heir that will waste all of it on illegal substances such as drugs, or spend it on expensive items, you can establish a 'trust' to the specific heir.
Here are different ways you can do that:

- Set a designated person or financial entities like a bank to have full control of your valuables, and instruct them only to authorize your heir to use the funds for select expenditures.
- You can also leave an incentive for the heir like establishing a 'trust' to pay for school tuition or give them rewards when they accomplish something, such as maintaining a job for a prolonged period.

Leaving an Heir Out of Your Will

After considering your alternatives of leaving a person out of your will but you still want to remove them, here are a few things you can do to make it challenging for that specific person to contest your last will:

Indicate You Want to Leave That Heir Out of Your Will - If you don't tell your desire to remove a rightful heir to your will, the court will see this as an oversight, giving them the right to contest.
Include a Concluding Statement to Your Will - It's best to leave a final statement at the end of your will, verifying that the people you left out of it was intentional. Also, say that the people you've included are the only rightful individuals to enjoy what you're going to leave behind.

If you're committed to omitting an heir, you should hire professional and legal help to guide you through the process, helping you leave your hard work to loved ones who truly deserve it.

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Posted - 09/25/2020