There are a number of planning issues that California residents can run into when they are preparing their wills. On one hand, some people want to leave bequests to so many people that they cannot figure out how to include everyone in their estate plan. On the other hand, a person may wish to exclude a child or other close family member from their will and may fear the repercussions that will develop from that action.

Choosing to leave an heir out of a will can be a tough decision, but there are important steps that can be taken to ensure that their intentions are clear. One of the most troubling things that can happen is the failure of the testator to explicitly state that the excluded individual is disinherited: ambiguity in a will or simply leaving the person out can introduce grounds for will contests and probate issues after the testator’s death.

Therefore, if a testator wants to leave someone out of their will, the testator should make it clear that they are leaving a named person out of their estate plan. Readers should know, however, that special rules may apply to spouses in community property states like California, and spouses may, in some cases, be entitled to inherit from their deceased partners even if they are not named in their partners’ wills.

Making an estate plan and will that reflect a person’s desires can be difficult. With the help of an attorney, a person should be able to accomplish their goals and set up an estate plan that reflects their best hopes for the disposition of their wealth and property.

Do You Need To Speak With An Attorney About Estate Planning?

If you need to speak with an experienced estate planning lawyer please contact us online or call us directly at 800.756.5596 to first register for one of our free, informative seminars. Your attendance will qualify you for a special discount for our estate planning services should you decide to make a free appointment at the conclusion of the seminar and choose to proceed with us. We proudly serve clients throughout California with offices in Torrance, Newport Beach, Orange, Woodland Hills and Pasadena.

Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.
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how to contest a will 06/14/2021 01:13 PM
If you qualify as a party with legal grounds to challenge a will, the first step is to determine if it includes a No Contest clause. This provision states that any beneficiary who attempts to challenge it will be disinherited as a beneficiary. Learn more at
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