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January 5, 2019

by Dawn Levine

Estate Planning/Probate Myths and the Mayhem They Cause


Here is the first installment in a series.   
Myth number 1 -You should leave disinherited people a dollar (or $10 or $100).  It is permissible to disinherit people in Georgia without leaving them a dollar.  The key is to make sure you have mentioned them.  If they are not mentioned at all then they can make the argument that you (or your attorney) just forgot to include them.  Mentioning them but leaving them nothing is better than giving them a dollar.  Leaving disinherited family members a dollar makes them beneficiaries of your estate.  Under Georgia law beneficiaries have all sorts of rights and protections that you  probably would not intend for someone you would only leave a dollar.  Leaving someone a dollar is likely to insult them.  In turn this may backfire and inspire them to use those beneficiary rights to harass and make mischief.  If you truly want to leave someone a token amount it is possible but, there is a strategy to it.  You must leave them enough that they don't want to risk losing it and you must couple it with a no-contest clause.  See an attorney whose main practice is drafting Wills if you wish to leave someone out. Mistakes like this can cause tens of thousands of dollars and wipe out a modest estate with legal bills. 


FIVE MINUTE LAW - LEGAL NEWS AND ARTICLES. BY Zach Wolfe

estate planning, probate, guardianship and conservatorship