Age Gracefully With A Plan In Place

Should you disinherit someone by leaving them a dollar?

On Behalf of | Oct 27, 2023 | Estate Planning |

Disinheriting someone means leaving nothing to someone who otherwise would have expected to get an inheritance. This could be a direct heir who would naturally inherit from you, or a beneficiary who was previously included in the will but is now being removed.

One way to do this is just not to mention the person at all in the estate plan. If the will doesn’t say anything about them, then they are not going to inherit any of your assets, and things will be given to other heirs and beneficiaries as instructed.

But the problem with this is that people will sometimes contest these estate plans, claiming that they were accidentally left out of the will or that they were forgotten. A potential solution is to leave the person just a single dollar, which some people will do to signify the fact that they haven’t forgotten or made a mistake. This is what they want. 

There are better ways to do it

Unfortunately, leaving someone a dollar can be problematic, as well. The person may feel slighted or insulted, and this can cause trouble for the heirs.

It is also unnecessary. You can easily disinherit someone just by naming them in the will and saying that you are intentionally leaving them nothing. You can give them a reason for this decision if you’d like, but you don’t have to. A simple disinheritance clause is all that you need to make your intentions clear and reduce the odds of an estate dispute.

As you can see, it’s important to set up an estate plan correctly. Be sure you know exactly what legal steps to take.