What You Can NOT Do in a Will

Generally speaking, people can do whatever they want in their wills and the court will enforce their wishes. However, there are some controversial things that are done in wills that a court might disallow.

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People have been known to do all sorts of strange things with their wills.

Some people attempt to control the behavior of others through the provisions in their wills and others seek to punish people for slights or out of spite. Most of the time, however, courts will enforce these provisions.

On the other hand, some things are so controversial that a court might not enforce them.

Recently, the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog published a list of things courts generally do not allow in an article titled Controversial Will Provisions.”

The list includes:

  • Disinheriting a Spouse – The law does not allow you to disinherit a current spouse. Instead, it provides for a spousal elective share. That means that a spouse can elect to either take what was left to him or her in the will or they can take a fixed percentage of the assets in the estate.
  • Encouraging Divorce – Inheritances cannot be conditioned on someone getting a divorce. Courts view any such provisions as anti-marriage and against public policy.
  • Limiting Marriage Choice – Although some courts have allowed it, generally you cannot attempt to force another person to only marry other people of a particular religion.

Please contact our office today at 239-225-7911 to schedule an appointment with Barbara M. Pizzolato if you are interested in protecting your legacy and need to create or update your estate plan. You may also wish to attend one of our free seminars.

Reference: Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog (November 13, 2014) β€œControversial Will Provisions”

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