McEvoy Law

Be strategic about how you disinherit your family members

Some individuals tend to think that blood is thicker than water when they're asked to choose between family or friends. When it comes to drafting a will though, some testators would rather leave their assets to the family members that they've chosen instead of the relatives that they were born to or raised around. If you're planning to disinherit your family members, then there are certain ways that you should go about doing it.

One way that you can protect your loved ones from being dragged into a long, drawn-out legal battle after your passing is by including a no-contest clause in your will. Once you draft this, your loved ones will have to accept what you've left them. Such a clause generally spells out how your relative stands to lose everything if they sue the estate.

Another option that you may want to consider is leaving certain assets to those you care most about outside of your will. You may want to list someone as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy or to deed over your home to them. If you have already done this before you drafting your will, then it's unlikely that they'll have to pass through the probate process.

One of the best things that you can do if you're looking to disinherit someone that was likely expecting to be your heir is to take time to document the reasons why you decided not to leave them anything. It's best if you include medical records that show that you were of testamentary capacity when drafting such a document or otherwise your statements may be second-guessed.

In most jurisdictions, it's not possible to simply cut your spouse off completely when you draft your will. You can do things to reduce what it is that they're allowed to inherit though. A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can help you accomplish this. You may also be able to convince your husband or wife to waive their estate rights, allowing you to leave your assets to others instead.

Disinheriting family members is a lot harder than it seems. Documents must be crafted in a particular way to have the desired effect in a Maryland court of law. An attorney in Frederick can provide you and your case with careful consideration and forward-thinking necessary to help you achieve your desired result after you're gone.

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McEvoy Law
8 West Third Street
Frederick, Maryland 21701

Phone: 301-228-0810
Fax: 301-694-2754
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