Colorado Estate Planning Blog

Monday, November 14, 2016

So you need to disinherit someone…

In many situations, it is necessary to disinherit a child, grandchild, or other heir.   Perhaps they are an addict and you don’t want to harm them by leaving them enough money to overdose.  Perhaps they receive a disability income and you don’t want to kick them out of their governmental assistance program.  If you create a dynasty trust you can deal with many issues by setting up a trust for these beneficiaries making their inheritance available for their health, education, maintenance or support, but preventing them from having direct access to assets. 

If you do not want to provide this “beyond-the-grave” assistance, or if there are other circumstances dictating a disinheritance, you have the right in Colorado to disinherit anyone except a spouse; which can be done by agreement. I believe the best way to disinherit someone is to acknowledge in your will or trust that you are specifically excluding them; not by leaving them $1 or some other minimal amount.  To leave a minimal amount makes that disinherited party a beneficiary giving him or her all of the same rights as other beneficiaries. 

Sommers Law Group, LLC assists clients throughout Denver, Jefferson County, and Arapahoe County, Colorado.

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