Florida law has historically protected the rights of surviving spouses, which results in robust legal provisions that guarantee that a deceased’s spouse can enjoy homestead rights, an elective share, and a pretermitted share of the estate.
In this article, you will discover how to disinherit a spouse in Florida.
How to Disinherit a Spouse in Florida – Feasible Methods Only
Disinheriting a spouse in Florida is not as simple as removing the person’s name from a will and other documents. Accordingly, the guidance of a well-versed attorney is crucial to anticipate and prevent potential lawsuits in the future.
The easiest and most cost-effective method to disinherit a spouse in Florida is through a waiver of spousal rights, which can be part of a premarital or post-marital agreement. State law requires the waiver to be in writing and signed by the waiving spouse in the presence of two witnesses.
Please note that preparing this document requires attention to detail, as any small mistake or non-compliance with relevant laws can result in a disastrous outcome.
Term Insurance Policies
In Florida, elective share rights allow a surviving spouse to inherit 30% of a decedent’s elective state.
Considered the simplest type of life insurance, term insurance provides coverage to the heirs of the policyholder at a fixed rate for a specific period. As long as the insurance policy is titled in the name of beneficiaries other than the spouse, it will not be subject to the elective share.
The term insurance policy cannot be named in the decedent’s sole name or in the name of the estate, which will likely entitle the surviving spouse to a portion of the death benefit.
Lifetime Gifting to a Private Foundation
This method is particularly useful for wealthier individuals. Assets transferred to a foundation during the owner’s life are not included in the elective share calculations. If the desired heirs remain in control of the foundation, they will have the ability to control the donated funds.
However, this solution requires a careful approach, as any gifts made to a foundation within a year of the decedent’s passing can be subject to the elective share.
Lifetime Gifting to an Irrevocable Trust
Similar to assets transferred to a private foundation, transferring the title of assets to an irrevocable trust offers a reliable solution to disinherit a spouse in Florida. As its name suggests, an irrevocable trust cannot be modified or revoked without court intervention.
When preparing the irrevocable trust instrument, the person setting up the arrangement must name beneficiaries other than the spouse and use specific language to leave no room for future claims.
Also, the assets must be transferred to the irrevocable trust at least one year before the trustor’s death.
Solid Estate Planning
Instead of relying exclusively on a single solution to disinherit a spouse in Florida, the best approach is to work with an experienced legal advisor to tailor a solid estate plan. This way, it is possible to set up efficient inheritance mechanisms that will exclude a specific person and protect the rights of the desired heirs at the same time.