Conover & Grebe, llp

Call For A Personal Consultation with an Attorney Today
310-776-9028

What you should know when disinheriting relatives

Millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people worldwide are celebrating Pride Month along with their supportive friends and family. Too many, however, have become estranged from some family members -- and sometimes from their entire family -- because of who they are.

Many people, for a variety of reasons, create a "logical" family when their biological family has let them down or abandoned them. If this applies to you, creating an estate plan that reflects your wishes is essential. California probate law recognizes biological and marital family ties -- regardless of what those relationships are like.

When you create an estate plan, you can include or exclude ("disinherit") just about anyone you choose, with the exception of your current spouse. Because California is a community property state, you can't completely disinherit a spouse. You don't have to leave anything to parents, siblings or other relatives, however.

If you're on some sort of speaking terms with family members, it may be wise to prepare them for the fact that you aren't leaving them anything in case they're under the impression that they'll be included in your will simply because they're relatives. If you don't, they could potentially contest the will.

You can minimize the chances of a legal contest after you're gone and the stress this could cause for your spouse or significant other. For example, a living trust, unlike a will, doesn't have to be made public. Therefore, you reduce the chances that people who aren't included in it can see it, and it's more difficult to challenge than a will. You may want to have a "no contest" clause. Your estate planning attorney can help you decide whether that's necessary or even advisable in your particular case.

One way to help prevent relatives from contesting your estate plan is to show that you've put considerable thought into the provisions in your estate planning documents and that the decisions you've made are yours alone and not influenced by other people. You may want to consider including some language explaining why family members aren't included. Remember that this is your estate plan, and you have the right to include -- or exclude -- just about anyone you choose.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Get Started

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Office Location

3424 W. Carson Street
Suite 320
Torrance, CA 90503

Toll Free: 866-661-9751
Phone: 310-776-9028
Fax: 310-542-1588
Torrance Law Office Map

Anaheim Hills Office
155 N. Riverview Dr., Ste. 207
Anaheim Hills, CA 92808

Toll Free: 866-661-9751
Phone: 310-776-9028
Anaheim Hills Law Office Map