Estate Planning: Leave Her $1



You may have a desire to leave a family member out of a will (e.g. a son or daughter). The law generally allows you to do so. You may have this desire for various reasons. Perhaps the individual is already well set financially. Or perhaps you have a rift in your relationship with this individual. Whatever the case may be, if you want to leave someone out of your will, do not name the person as an heir and leave her $1.


A troublesome heir


There are a couple of problems with this approach. First, going this route has a greater chance of upsetting the individual than simply leaving her out of your will. But perhaps that’s your goal. Perhaps you do want to upset the individual. You should, nevertheless, still not take this approach because as soon as you name the person as an heir, she can create all sorts of havoc. In either circumstance, the individual can contest the validity of your will, but such contests are very difficult to prove and usually fail. As a named heir, however, she has the power to do other things, like challenge the final accounting of the estate, challenge the validity of executor fees, etc.


Leave spite out


While spite may be in your motives, keep it out of your estate planning. Otherwise, you can create a recipe for disaster.


–Joel Dendiu

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