Wills are an important part of the estate-planning process, but many people don't have them. When wills aren't in place, the estate will go through probate, which takes much longer to resolve.
You may not have a will because of the limitations you believe they have, but it's a good idea to put one into place. Still, it's smart to know the limitations, so here are some to remember.
Your will's limits: Legal restrictions
Your will does have some legal restrictions that could prevent you from being able to have your wishes carried out fully. For example, did you know that some laws actually prohibit you from disinheriting your dependent children or your spouse? The only way you'd be able to disinherit a spouse is through a prenuptial agreement or if they agree to be disinherited at another time. If there is no such agreement, simply stating that you don't want them to inherit anything isn't legal.
Surviving spouses have something called the right of election. This allows them to take up to a half of the estate, depending on the circumstances, at the time of the testator's death.
Can you disinherit children who are not dependent?
Yes, in most cases you can. If you wish to do this, then it's a good idea to talk with your attorney about adding the terms to your will and making sure they're legal. Our site has more on estate administration and the legal process that is involved in making a valid will. Don't make simple mistakes; there are people who can help you make a valid will.