Can someone challenge a will if they get disinherited?

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2024 | Estate Planning

When someone gets disinherited, it typically means that they expected to get an inheritance, but they did not receive one as part of the estate plan. This could be a person who was previously included in the will and then removed or a direct descendent. For example, an elderly person’s adult children expect to inherit so, if one of them doesn’t receive anything, they have been disinherited – even if their parent never told them that they would receive an inheritance.

Disinheriting people is sometimes problematic because it can lead to disputes and will contests. The person may challenge the estate plan. What steps should be taken to avoid a dispute?

Making your intentions clear

If you’re drafting an estate plan, one key thing to do is to make your intentions very clear. Many estate disputes happen because a disinherited individual is simply not mentioned in the estate plan. This may seem clear to the person who wrote the plan, but that individual will say that it must be an oversight or that they must have accidentally been forgotten.

Undue influence is another potential reason to challenge an estate plan. This indicates that another person – such as another heir who stands to benefit by gaining more of the inheritance – manipulated the person who was writing the estate plan. Once again, the best way to defend against these types of allegations is to make your true intentions as clear as possible– and to do so as far in advance as you can.

Disinheriting people can make an estate plan more complex, and it’s important for all involved to understand their legal options.

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