What circumstances can you be dishinerited?
In the State of Florida, there are 4 circumstances in an individual may be disinherited. These are assumed because the probate court believes that this is what the decedent would have wanted.
The first way to become disinherited is for a failure to support a child. A breach of parental obligations will prevent the parent from inheriting from the child. If the parental rights were not terminated during the child’s life time, then they may still inherit from the child. However, it is important to look at this by a case by case scenario. There are often times where contact from the child is prohibited by the other child, or other circumstances that may warrant an exception.
The Slayer Statute is the second way to become disinherited and is when an individual is convicted of a homicide. In criminal court, if the individual is convicted of a homicide, OR in civil court, if the court finds that the killing is unlawful and intentional. A homicide that is acted out of self defense, or was an accident will not disinherit the individual from inheriting. Furthermore, this should be determined case by case.
The third way to become disinherited is by acting unethically as an attorney. While Florida is moving towards prohibiting attorneys all together from writing themselves in a will, currently if an attorney writes in a substantial gift in preparing an instrument for a client, they will be disinherited. However, a lawyer may receive a substantial gift, if they are not preparing an instrument for a client.
Fraudulent Marriages are the last way to become disinherited in Florida. If a marriage is procured by undue influence, fraud, etc, the marriage will be invalidated and the surviving spouse will not be able to inherit from the deceased spouse. This is justifiable in the sense that no marriage actually existed.