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A disinherited heir may start a dispute

On Behalf of | Mar 10, 2022 | Estate Administration & Probate |

You certainly have a right to disinherit anyone you want when you’re making your estate plan. Your children may all expect to get the same amount of money from you, but you can leave one of these children out. There’s no law against doing so, and what you plan to do with your estate is up to you.

If you do this, however, make sure that you know it may start an estate dispute.

They have a right to challenge the plan

First and foremost, direct beneficiaries who expect to inherit, such as your child, automatically have grounds to challenge a plan if they desire to do so. For instance, your child may claim that a different sibling convinced you to cut them out of the will even though you didn’t want to, or they may claim that you must have just forgotten to write in what they were supposed to inherit and that an older will should be used instead.

On top of that, unequal bequests are one of the top reasons for estate disputes. Children usually assume that things are going to be roughly equal, and they’ll feel it is very unfair if they’re not. An extreme example of this is when one child is completely disinherited. They’re very likely to feel that this is unfair, even if you believe it is entirely justified, and that just increases the odds of such a dispute.

Working through the process

Whether you’re making your estate plan or dealing with an estate dispute as a child of someone who recently passed away, make sure you know about all the legal options you have as you work through this process.