The “$1 inheritance myth” is a long-standing belief that has endured the test of time. There are different variations of this myth, but the common idea is that a parent cannot disinherit their child, so they leave them an inheritance of $1 to bypass this requirement. Although this may seem like a clever solution to avoid the legal obligation to leave an inheritance, it can create even more problems down the road, as we will discuss later on.
Before we dive into the issues with the $1 inheritance, it’s worth noting that there are valid reasons why someone might choose to disinherit their child. Disinheriting someone is not always a bad thing and can sometimes be beneficial, which we’ll explore further in this video. It’s also important to understand who you need to disinherit under the California Probate Code, which is similar to probate codes in other states. If you don’t have a will or trust, the probate code specifies who your heirs are and how much each person will receive. Typically, your children will receive a portion of your estate, with each child receiving an equal share. If one of your children has passed away, their share may go to their children, if they have any, and so on.
Disinheriting someone doesn’t necessarily require leaving them with $1, as the myth suggests. Instead, you can do so in writing, making it clear that you’re intentionally not leaving them anything in your will or trust. The act of acknowledging that person specifically shows your intent to disinherit them, and you don’t need to leave them any money at all.
There are many reasons why someone might choose to disinherit their child, and not all of them are negative. Some common reasons include if the child is a “black sheep” who has distanced themselves from the family, has drug or financial problems, or legal issues such as unpaid taxes or alimony. In some cases, parents may want to leave something to charity or their grandchildren instead of their children, which is a perfectly valid choice.
In summary, the $1 inheritance myth is just that – a myth. Disinheriting someone can be done in writing without leaving them any money, and there are valid reasons why someone might choose to do so. Understanding who you need to disinherit under the probate code and how to do so in writing can help you make informed decisions about your estate planning.