Can I Disinherit My Close Family Members?

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There are some situations where a testator (a person making a Will) may want to avoid leaving any assets to a close family member upon his or her death.  In Utah, a testator’s property transfers to his or her devisees upon death.  The power to dispose of one’s property includes the power to disinherit one’s close relatives.  No particular reason needs to be given to disinherit someone.  As long as the testator’s intentions are clear, children and other close family members may be disinherited.

There are, however, protections for a testator’s spouse and minor children from both inadvertent and intentional disinheritance.  If a testator does not provide for a spouse in his or her Will, then the spouse is entitled to an elective share of the marital assets. Additionally, the Utah Probate Code provides a surviving spouse and minor children protection from complete disinheritance with three types of minimal allowances; the homestead allowance, the exempt property allowance, and the family allowance.  These protections can be waived in a pre-marital or post-marital agreement.

If you would like to know more about your estate planning options, please don’t hesitate to call for a free consultation.  I am an estate planning attorney in Spanish Fork, Utah.  While my office is in Spanish Fork, I provide estate planning services in Utah County and beyond.

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