How best to disinherit a son?

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How best to disinherit a son?

Can a father and a son make a contract that the son will get nothing upon his father’s death? Disinheriting in the Will and putting a no contest clause might do the jo, but there is the risk that the Will will be declared to be invalid and under law of intestacy the son will get the estate. Will the contract be enforceable and, if so, can the contract be signed by the court to be invalid later or something to ensure certainty? I looked on the DC court website, there’s a form on disclaimer but I don’t think that’s the right form because the father isn’t deceased yet.

Asked on October 24, 2011 under Estate Planning, District of Columbia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

What a tough question to answer and give guidance on.  Generally speaking,  in all states except Louisiana, it is possible to completely disinherit your child.  However, because courts do not like to see children disinherited, the will must state explicitly that the child receives nothing under the will. But if the will simply makes no mention of the child at all, it may be possible for the child to contest the will.  If the Last Will and Testament is properly drawn and executed - and I would consider using an attorney to do so - then I do not see the necessity for the separate agreement. But you could enter in to a separate agreement  - something akin to spouses entering in to a pre-nuptial -  that would be binding on the parties as long as it is done in accordance with the law in your area.  Again, I would use an attorney and have your son show the agreement to a separate attorney on his own behalf.  Good luck.


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