When you’re creating an estate plan, you want to think carefully about every single clause that you use and how it can change that plan. One example of this is using a disinheritance clause. This allows you to essentially remove someone as a beneficiary – such as a child who will no longer get some of your financial assets.
You clearly want to use a clause like this because you’re attempting to cut that person out of the estate plan. But why would you use this clause in specific? Why is it so important to have it in place? Couldn’t you just leave that person nothing at all and accomplish the same goal?
The clause can help to prevent disputes
The advantage of using a disinheritance clause, rather than just leaving the person nothing, is that it can help to stop them from disputing the will. There are cases in which someone finds out they have been left no assets and they claim that their parent must have forgotten to include them. They say that this simply had to be a mistake. The parent has already passed away, so there’s no way for them to clarify that this is, in fact, what they wanted.
With a disinheritance clause, however, it’s very clear that the move was done intentionally. A similar tactic that is sometimes used is to leave the person a single dollar or an asset that has no value. This also shows intentionality, but it can be insulting to a family member, which likely isn’t your goal. As such, the disinheritance clause can work much better.
As you make your estate plan, you can see how important it is to know about all of the options you have and how to use them properly.