Can You Disinherit Someone in Your Will?
A Will is a document that sets out a person’s intentions on the distribution of his or her assets upon death. Generally, you can make a Will following your wishes on how your estate should be distributed upon your passing, as long as you comply with the statutory requirements as stated in the Wills Act 1959.
Despite this, you should be aware that if you disinherit someone from your Will, such a person may make a claim against your estate at a future date. There are times when a disinherited party may try to challenge your Will if they believe that they were wrongly excluded as a result of an omission, undue influence, fraud or forgery.
The courts have the power under the Inheritance (Family Provision) Act 1971 to make reasonable provisions for:-
(1) your spouse;
(2) unmarried daughter;
(3) an infant son; or
(4) a child who is incapable of maintaining him or herself due to some mental or physical disability;
provided that in the court's opinion the disposition of your estate effected by your Will does not make reasonable provision for the maintenance of that dependant.
Hence, it may cause the beneficiaries receiving less than was originally intended in your Will if they successfully challenged the validity of your Will.
Having said that, it is important that it is made clear your reasoning for disinheriting a specific person or persons in your Will, making it clearly understood that the omission is intentional and not an oversight in order to provide additional support against such exclusion should it be contested in future and to ensure that the beneficiaries receive assets according to your wishes after your death.