Disinheritance Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Disinheritance, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Disinheritance?

n. The act of disinheriting.

History and Meaning of Disinheritance

Disinheritance is the legal act of preventing someone from receiving an inheritance from a deceased person's estate. This can be done for various reasons, such as the disinherited person's behavior or relationship with the deceased person.

Disinheritance has a long history and was common in ancient societies. In medieval Europe and England, there were laws that allowed disinheritance for various reasons. However, in modern times, the law gives certain protections to potential heirs, making it more difficult to disinherit someone.

Examples of Disinheritance

  1. A father disinherits his son from his will because he had a poor relationship with him and believes that his daughter should receive everything.
  2. A wealthy person disinherits a close relative and instead leaves their estate to their favorite charity.
  3. A parent disinherits their child who has been involved in criminal activity and has a history of drug addiction.

Legal Terms Similar to Disinheritance

  1. Intestate: Dying without a will
  2. Probate: The legal process of validating a will and distributing a deceased person's estate
  3. Heir: A person entitled to receive an inheritance from a deceased person's estate.