Definition – intentionally drafting your estate plan so that someone who would otherwise inherit under the laws of intestacy, is specifically excluded from the ability to inherit from the estate.
What It Really Means to Disinherit Someone?
The laws of intestacy are determined by each state, and indicate how an estate should be distributed if there is no will. The intestacy laws generally follow what a decedent would most likely do if they had created a will, namely, passing their estate on to their children. Disinheritance makes it so that a decedent can specifically choose for a child, or children, to not inherit from the estate as of right.
Scott has two children with his wife Dana, and one child, Charles, from a previous relationship. Scott doesn’t want Charles to be able to receive any of his estate when he dies, as Charles has refused to acknowledge Scott as his father. Scott is able to draft his will that outlines his wishes that only his two children as a result of a union with Dana are able to inherit, and to specifically disinherit Charles. When Scott dies, Scott’s two children from his marriage with Dana would be able to split the estate between them, and Charles would receive nothing.