You can absolutely disinherit your heirs if you would like to do so. Most people don’t expect to be beneficiaries, but your immediate heirs — i.e., your children — certainly do. Cutting them out of the will and leaving them nothing, despite this expectation, is known as disinheriting them.
There are a few things to keep in mind here, starting with the fact that they may challenge your estate plan. They’ll likely be unhappy to receive nothing, and that can lead to a will contest. This is often done on the grounds that it must have been a mistake, they must have been forgotten or someone else must have influenced you to do this.
Adding a disinheritance clause
One way to avoid this is to add a disinheritance clause to the will. If your will says nothing about them, they can claim it was an oversight, even if you did it on purpose. If your will mentions them and says that you do not want to leave them any of your assets, then they may still be frustrated, but they cannot claim it was a mistake. They know that this is exactly what you wanted all along.
Plus, if you do this early enough, you may be able to avoid allegations that someone else influenced you to change your will at the last minute. Changes like this are suspect and could be a sign of undue influence. But if that’s the way your will has looked for the last decade, you clearly gave it thought and made the decision on your own.
Setting it all up
You can see that there are potential issues with disinheriting someone, which is why it’s important to know what steps to take when setting up your estate plan.