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Eeny, meeny, miny, moe.......Friends vs. Family

Family isn't always blood. It's the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what. 

You work hard your entire life; why not pass your hard earned assets on to the ones you love and who you feel deserve it. You are not obligated to give your assets to any specific family member. You can give your assets to your friends. However, without proper planning there is a chance your estate could end up in the hands of family members you are not too fond of.

So how do you stop that from happening? You draft a well written Last Will & Testament or Trust that spells out exactly who you want to receive from your estate and who you do not want to receive from your estate.

Disinheriting someone can be a way to haunt a family member from beyond the grave, but there may be pragmatic reasons involved. So if you plan to leave someone out of a will, there is a blueprint for doing it.

Spouse and Minor Children

Under Florida law, you are not allowed to disinherit a spouse (unless there was a prenuptial agreement). The spouse will be entitled to an elective share of 30% of your estate.

You can not completely disinherit a minor child. Florida's Constitution contains homestead laws which prohibit the head of a family from leaving his or her residence to someone other then their surviving spouse or minor child if either is alive.

Adult Children

As children turn into adults, there are times when there is no longer a relationship anymore. If that is the case, parents don't feel comfortable passing their hard earned assets to their children.  In Florida, if a parent wants to disinherit an adult child, they need to clearly state their intentions in the will and state they don't want that child to receive. Simply by omitting that child from the will, is not enough.

Disinheriting someone can be a way to haunt a family member from beyond the grave, but there may be pragmatic reasons involved.


Parents are not entitled to anything in your will. But if you die without a spouse or children, your estate will go to your closest relatives who are your parents. So if you want to deliberately disinherit a parent, you need to write it in the will and designate a different heir.

Extended Relatives

In Florida, there is no legal obligation to leave assets to siblings, aunts and uncles, or cousins. But if you die without a spouse, children or parents, your next closest relatives would inherit your estate.

Just remember, estate planning requires asking yourself 'WHAT IF". It is so important to determine who you want and who you don't want to receive from your estate and the possible scenarios that occur when you pass away. 

If you live in Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach county contact an experienced estate-planning attorney at The Hershey Law Firm, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at (954) 303-9468 to discuss your estate planning needs.

You Can’t Predict The Future, But You Can Plan For It.