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Why and When to Write People Out of Your Will

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Thinking about cutting someone out of your Will? Here are the reasons you might want to do so, and how you can do so effectively…

When it comes to writing a Will, there’s plenty to consider, not least who you want to leave your estate to. That said, despite the expectation of who you’re supposed to leave your estate to, you may not wish to follow these expectations.

If you want to cut someone out of your Will, it won’t be an easy ride. From hiring Wills and probate solicitors to draw up a fool proof document, to communicating your wishes to your family and friends, there’s plenty to know.

n this article, we’ll be diving into the reasons why someone might write a person out of their Will. We’ll then talk about what problems this may cause, and finish off with some advice on avoiding these problems from occurring. Read on for more…

Why Might You Leave Someone Out of Your Will?

There are a number of reasons why you may choose to leave someone out of your Will. Some of these might include:

A Feud

A common reason for leaving somebody out of your Will is due to a family feud. Some parents get on better with certain children than others, and some may even find that they’ve fallen out with a child altogether. Naturally, you’ll want to favour your “favourite” child or children in your estate.

In the Process of a Divorce

Similarly, you may be in the process of a divorce when you pass away, which can mean that your estate will end up with your spouse. But, if you don’t want this to happen, then specifying this in your Will, and removing them altogether, may be in order.

It is Unnecessary

Sometimes, the reasons aren’t personal, and are simply down to the fact that they do not need the extra help. For example, a celebrity’s parents would have no real need to leave their child an inheritance due to their financial state. Instead, they might see fit to give all of their estate to a worse off child who may require the finances more than the celebrity.

You’d Rather Do Some Good

Many people choose to give some, or all, of their estate to charitable causes. For example, you can donate your money to the charity, and even your home.

Estranged Family Members

If you are estranged from your immediate family members, there’s really no reason to leave anything to them in your Will. If you haven’t seen or spoken to them in years, it makes no sense to do so. Instead, you can leave it to family or friends who have stood the test of time.

Someone Else Deserves It

Some people require extensive care before they die, and sometimes children and grandchildren are not prepared for this. Instead, older people may be helped by carers, and it’s common for them to bond with these carers. This is especially so if their immediate family members have appeared to have neglected them in their old age.

So, instead of rewarding these family members upon your deathbed, you may consider rewarding your carers for their company and hard work instead.

What Problems Could Cutting People Out of Your Will Cause?

May Lead to Someone Contesting the Will

There are a number of reasons why someone might contest a Will, and these legal grounds include:

  • The deceased did not have the mental capacity to write the Will.
  • The Will was not executed as per the legal requirements.
  • The deceased had limited knowledge of the contents of the Will.
  • The Will was forged.
  • The Will does not reflect the instructions given to the solicitor.
  • The deceased was unduly influenced when writing the Will.
  • The deceased owed you money.
  • You were depending on the reasonable provision of their estate on their deathbed for your own maintenance.
  • The deceased made a promise which you relied on.
  • The deceased gifted you something on their deathbed.

May Then Lead Family Feuds

Ultimately, when someone is left out of a Will, this can cause tensions to run high, and can lead to families falling out. Nobody wants to leave behind more strife than they left the world with, so ensuring your Will is fool-proof is essential to avoid this.

Tips for Cutting Someone Out of Your Will Successfully

Despite your best wishes on the event of your death, there are ways in which cutting someone out of your Will can be ignored. So, instead, it’s important to ensure the following when writing one up:

Hire a Solicitor to Help You Write Your Will

Some people may decide it is cheaper and more cost effective to write their own Will, or do one online. That said, this may not be totally fail-safe, and could invite people to dispute it later on.

In order to avoid these people succeeding, it’s important to hire a professional to write up your Will. A solicitor will be trained to deal with complex inheritances, and will be able to avoid any loopholes being found. In doing so, you can rest easy knowing your dying wishes will be met.

Clearly Explain Your Reasoning

Even if your Will is totally fail-safe, cutting someone out of it is still likely to invite disputes. So, within the document, be sure to outline your reasoning for your decision-making.

This could include discussions about why one person deserves the inheritance instead. It should also discuss why you’ve specifically chosen to leave certain people out entirely.

Through this, your voice will be heard much more clearly than just hearing your wishes from your executor.

Tell Your Family About Your Plans

Some people may choose to leave all their money to a charity of their choice, for example, thus disinheriting their family. However, this may seem out of the blue and unfair to family members.

So, as well as listing your reason in your Will, try telling them in person about why you’ve made this decision. If they understand why it’s so important to you, they may be less likely to contest it when you die.

Ready to Prepare Your Will?

As you can see, there’s plenty to consider before you cut someone out of your Will. Ultimately, if you don’t do so in an appropriate manner, you may find that your dying wishes aren’t met.

Overall, it’s important that you seek the advice of a solicitor to help you draw up your Will. Also, be sure to be specific about your wishes and your reasoning for them both within the document, and in person to your relatives.

Image: NeONBRAND on Unsplash

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how to contest a will in california
how to contest a will in california
2 years ago

When a person is alive, a Will is his/her personal property. Legally no one has the right to view it. Many people leave a copy of their last will and testament with their attorney.

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