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How do I disinherit someone from my will?

Published on 18 November 2017 | Modified on 14 December 2022

Written by Stacey Bennett
estate administration

Sometimes, despite our best intentions, we fall out with the people close to us. If you intend for them to ‘get nothing’ from your estate – there are certain steps to take.

What if I don’t have a Will?

If you don’t have a Will and want to disinherit someone in your family, then a Will is essential. Without a Will, certain people have automatic rights to your estate. This is due to the strict intestacy rules. A Will is the only way to avoid these rules from applying.

What if I already have a Will?

If you have a Will which includes the person that you want to disinherit, it must be changed or revoked.  Strict formalities apply to Wills, and so just stating a wish to disinherit someone is not enough. If you no longer want them to take their gift under your Will, the Will needs to be changed.

This applies whether the person you want to disinherit is family or not.

To ensure that any changes or revocations are effective, you should seek legal advice from an experienced solicitor.

Can they claim against my estate?

In some instances – yes. But only certain people are able to claim against your estate. Such a person has to make their claim within a strict time limit. They must also be able to show that you did not leave them ‘reasonable provision’.

Can I prevent a claim?

There are certain steps you can take to reduce the risk of a claim being made. For example, You might consider a smaller gift – perhaps do not disinherit the person entirely. This may satisfy any temptation they had to make a claim. Also, a letter to accompany your Will is essential – this is for your side of the story. If a claim is made when you pass away, your views can still be heard.

What else can I do?

If you want to disinherit someone, you should take advice from an experienced professional. For more information, or for an appointment to discuss your requirements, speak to one of our expert solicitors in our Wills and Probate team on 01270 625478. Alternatively you can visit our wills and probate services page here or complete the form linked here and we will call you back.

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