Disinheritance of an offspring in Florida

There are many reasons why one may wish to disinherit a relative in a Will  In Florida, you may freely disinherit anyone except a spouse or a minor child.

So long as your offspring is not a minor and you do not have any contractual obligations to him/her (such as a divorce settlement requirement), then you are able to disinherit your offspring in your Will rather easily.

Generally, it is best to first acknowledge the existence of your offspring and his/her relation to you so that a claim cannot be made that you simply overlooked them.   Second, your Will should include ta simple statement that it is your intention that he/she not receive anything under your Will.  You do not have to detail the reason why you are acting in this manner, but you may.  If you do wish to state a reason, just remember that if your estate is probated, the Will becomes a public document.  If you do not wish your reason for the disinheritance to become public knowledge, you could instead include a private note or letter explaining the reason for your action with your other estate planning documents to be delivered to the offspring upon your death.

Some people prefer to include a very nominal bequest, say $1, to the disinherited offspring as a means of sending a signal to him/her.  Generally, this is not a wise step.  If you include the nominal bequest in your Will, then the offspring becomes a party to the probate proceeding and be entitled to participate in it.  By not leaving anything to the offspring, then not only is the offspring not required to be included in the probate administration but also he/she is not even required to be notified that the probate has begun.

If you have any questions regarding the above, please contact me and I will be glad to assist you.

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