If you are estranged from your spouse or adult child, you may be thinking about disinheriting them from your will. While it is legally acceptable to disinherit your family members, doing so can be difficult and you should retain the services of a skilled Florida inheritance lawyer beforehand. In order to properly disinherit your spouse or adult child from your assets after you die, you will need a comprehensive, clear, and well-thought out estate plan.
Why You Need a Will to Disinherit Family Members
If you die without a will in Florida, your estate will be distributed in accordance with the state’s intestacy laws. These laws generally distribute your estate and assets based on relation to you. For example, if your spouse is still alive, your estate will pass to him/her first. Thus, if you die without a will, your spouse will be first in line to receive your property and wealth. If this is not in accordance with your last wishes, you must talk to an estate planning lawyer in Florida about drafting a sound will that disinherits your spouse.
Florida’s Homestead Law
Florida’s homestead law puts restrictions on what you can do with your residence. Under the law, you cannot leave your home to another person if you have a surviving spouse or minor children. The property must first go to your surviving spouse for life, and then pass on to any minor children. In the event that your children are no longer minors, you may leave the property to someone else.
If you have children or adopt after the creation of your will, the law will not assume that you wish to disinherit them. Instead, the law will assume that you want to include them in your estate plan and they will be awarded a portion of your estate.
Draft a Transparent Document
Many will contests are the result of a vague or poorly drafted document. You can increase the chances that your last wishes will be carried out without contention by hiring a knowledgeable attorney to assist you in creating a will that clearly explains how you would like your estate and assets to be distributed.
Contact Experienced Estate Planning Lawyers in Florida
The Law Offices of Hoyt & Bryan provides shrewd legal guidance to estate planning clients throughout the central Florida area. Call (407) 977-8080, or contact us online to discuss your case with a knowledgeable attorney today.
About the Author: Peggy Hoyt Peggy R. Hoyt practices in the areas of family wealth and legacy counselling, including trust and estate planning and administration, elder law, small business creation, succession and exit planning, real estate transactions and animal law.