Leaving Someone Out of Your Will

Under Ohio law, you generally have the right to leave your property to anyone of your choosing.  The key to disinheriting your spouse, adult child, parents, siblings, etc. is proper planning.

If you wish to disinherit a spouse, a fully funded trust is necessary. Simply executing a Last Will and Testament will not be sufficient due to an Ohio law that gives a spouse the ability to elect against your will.

In order to disinherit other family members, a well drafted Last Will and Testament is required.  Any family member who would be entitled to inherit from your estate in the event that you died without a Last Will and Testament should be expressly mentioned in your Will. Simply making no mention of the family member will increase the odds of a challenge to the validity of your Will and a charge that you simply forgot to include him or her.

Further, if you have significant funds and wish to decrease the odds of a challenge to your Will, you have the option of including a clause in your Will that states that that the disinherited individual will receive a small but enticing sum of money but will forfeit that sum of money if he or she challenges your Will.

For more information concerning disinheritance or simply the proper estate planning instruments for you, contact an estate planning attorney.