Estate Planning: Navigating Disinheritance of Family Members
The Complexities of Family Dynamics in Estate Planning
Family disputes and rifts can lead to difficult decisions in estate planning, including the desire to disinherit a family member. However, disinheriting a spouse or children in Minnesota requires understanding specific legal constraints and options.
Disinheriting a Spouse in Minnesota
Disinheriting a spouse in Minnesota is not straightforward due to the spouse’s legal entitlement to a share of the “augmented estate,” which includes both your and your spouse’s assets. The share a spouse is entitled to depends on the marriage duration, ranging from three percent for one year of marriage to fifty percent for marriages of fifteen years or more. Even if you explicitly state in your will to disinherit your spouse, they still retain this right unless they have signed a written waiver. Such waivers can be part of a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement. It’s crucial for the spouse to obtain independent legal counsel before signing to ensure the contract’s validity.
Unlike spouses, Minnesota law allows you to disinherit a child. Parents can choose to leave out a child from their will for any reason. However, this decision can result in disputes and resentment within the family. If a child perceives their omission as accidental, they might challenge the will. Consulting with an estate planning attorney is essential to ensure clarity and avoid ambiguities in your will.
Consultation for Estate Planning and Disinheritance
If you are considering changing your estate plan to disinherit a family member, it’s important to seek professional legal advice. Contact us at (320) 299-4249 to discuss your will and estate planning goals. We can offer guidance on how to approach disinheritance while ensuring your estate plan reflects your wishes.