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How to Leave Someone Out of a Will

Posted by Dana Law Group on January 20, 2021

Image of lawyer and client discussing wills

Setting up a will can be a great way to ensure that your best wishes are carried out when you pass. A will can also make things easier for your loved ones, especially if it includes coverage for a funeral or burial.

Still, whether you’re preparing to create a will or already have one in place, you may be wondering what you should do if you want to specifically leave a family member or other loved one out of your will. By understanding your options and consulting with an experienced attorney, you can create or revise your will with greater confidence.

Leaving Somebody Out of a Will

There are many situations in which you may want to go out of your way to leave somebody out of your will. Often times, this is the case when a child or other family member is known to have issues with drug or substance addiction; in such a situation, you may not want the family member to have access to funds that could be used to make poor decisions.

Regardless of your reasoning for wanting to leave somebody out of your will, you have options. When it comes to children, however, keep in mind that the state of Arizona does not allow you to disinherit a minor child. You do, however, have options for leaving out adult children or even children from blended families.

In some cases, it is also possible to leave a spouse out of a will, though this can be more difficult and there are some limitations. In some cases, your spouse will be legally protected from being completely disinherited and will thus be entitled to at least some compensation.

What About a Trust?

Leaving somebody out of your will can be a sensible option in many cases. And of course, the decision is ultimately up to you. However, if you wish to avoid some of the hassle and “hurt feelings” that can come along with leaving somebody out of your will, you might consider instead setting up a trust for the nuanced family member.

With a trust, you can still leave an inheritance for a loved one. However, you have the ultimate say in how the funds or assets are distributed. Rather than the family member receiving a large lump sum, for example, you might schedule smaller payments to be made every year for a certain number of years.

Consult With an Attorney

Making the decision to disinherit somebody from your will is typically not easy, nor is it one to be taken lightly. If you’re thinking about disinheriting a loved one from your will, your best bet is to consult with an experienced estate planning lawyer before you move forward. He or she will be able to provide you with the guidance you need to make an informed decision¬†and¬†to make sure your will is properly written to reflect your desires.

At Dana Law Group, we specialize in legal planning for your family and assets. Let us help you navigate these difficult yet important decisions. Contact us today to learn more or to get started!