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How Can I Disinherit an Heir in Illinois?

 Posted on May 21, 2020 in Estate Planning

Lombard estate planning attorneysYou have worked hard to earn the property that you currently own so it is understandable that you would want to have control over who inherits this property upon your death. Disinheritance refers to the act of purposely excluding someone from your will in particular or your estate plans in general. There are many different reasons that a person may choose to disinherit an heir. He or she may have ended his or her relationship with the heir due to abuse or conflict, have concerns about how the heir would spend inheritance funds, or simply believe that the heir is financially secure enough to miss out on an inheritance. Whatever your reasons for disinheriting an heir, doing so can sometimes prove to be a challenging legal process. For help understanding Illinois inheritance laws, drafting a last will and testament, or developing other estate plans, contact an experienced estate planning lawyer.

Disinheriting a Spouse

Through an estate plan, an individual can leave his or her property to anyone or any organization he or she chooses. However, Illinois law does not typically permit a person to disinherit his or her spouse through a will without the spouse’s consent. If a last will and testament does disinherit a spouse, the surviving spouse may be able to “renounce” the will formally. Presuming the renunciation is successful, he or she would then be entitled to a portion of the deceased spouse’s estate. If the deceased person has children, the surviving spouse may be entitled to one-third of the estate. If there are not any surviving children, the spouse may be entitled to one-half of the estate.

It is important to note, however, that an individual’s right to renounce his or her spouse’s will does not extend to living trusts or certain other estate planning documents. It should also be noted that if there is a situation in which the terms of a will conflict with the terms of a prenuptial agreement, the prenuptial agreement takes precedence.

Disinheriting an Adult Child

There are some situations in which a parent may choose to disinherit his or her adult child. The child may have a substance abuse problem, gambling or shopping addiction, or he or she may simply be unable to handle a large inheritance. A parent may also choose to inherit a child because he or she does not agree with the child’s life decisions. If you want to exclude your child from your will, make sure to obtain guidance from an experienced estate planning attorney. If you do not follow the appropriate procedure, provisions in your will may be considered invalid.

If the reason you want to disinherit your child is because you are worried about his or her ability to responsibly handle an inheritance, you may want to consider using a trust. Through a trust, you can appoint a reliable individual or institution to manage the property for the benefit of your child. You can provide specific instructions in the trust about how and when the money or property will be given to your child.  

Contact a DuPage County Will and Trust Lawyer

Even if you have no desire or need to disinherit any of your potential heirs, estate planning can be complex. For help drafting or modifying your will, trust, or other estate planning documents, contact A. Traub & Associates. Schedule a confidential consultation with a Lombard estate planning attorney by calling our office at 630-426-0196 today.



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