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By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

When it comes to your Idaho estate planning you are in complete control if you have a well thought out and complete written last will and testament. If you do not have a written Will, then your estate will be distributed based on the statutes in Idaho. This simply means that some of your money, property, or other assets, could go to individuals or family members that you do not want them to go to.

I’ve worked as an Idaho estate planning and probate attorney for more than 20 years. This means that I’ve seen just about everything you can imagine when it comes to both estate planning, and probate. One of the common things that I have seen is when a parent wants to disinherit one of their children, but simply does it wrong. When it’s done wrong, then the child is not disinherited, and they receive a portion of the parents’ estate after all despite what the parent wants.

The purpose of this blog article is to describe in simple terms how you can disinherit your kids, or any other person you want to disinherit. Below are three tips that will help you understand how to do this correctly. However, we don’t suggest that you do this on your own. Rather, we suggest that you use a qualified Idaho attorney to help you. We also encourage you to contact us for a free 30-minute estate planning consultation where we can discuss your options with you.

Don’t Just Leave Their Names Off Your Will

The first tip is that you don’t simply leave the name of the child or person you want to disinherit off your written Will. If you ignore them in your written Will, and don’t mention their name, the law in Idaho will suppose that you simply forgot to add them in. Because the child will have been “forgotten”, the law in Idaho will allow that child to still receive a portion of your estate. As a result, do not just leave the name of your child off of your written Will if your goal is to disinherit them.

Don’t Just Leave Them Just $1.00

Other parents have come to me and have told me that they disinherited their child by simply leaving their child $1 from their estate. Don’t do this!!! You’ll notice this last sentence ended with three exclamation points. There is a reason for this. I am trying to emphasize the fact that this is a BAD idea.

Yes, this actually does work as a way of disinheriting your child. However, if your child is difficult to contact, or to find, then your estate might be forced to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars to try to find your child and to deliver to them the $1 you left them from your estate. So, rather than leaving your disinherited child a $1 inheritance, do it the right way.

Do Use the Right Language

The right way is to simply use the right language to actually disinherit your child by name. When you do this, then you don’t have to spend money to find the child. Additionally, the law in Idaho supports your ability to disinherit whoever you would like, even when it is your own child. If this is what you really want to do, then go to an experienced Idaho estate planning and probate attorney and have them help you do it the right way.

If you have questions or concerns about how to disinherit a child, we can help. We have assisted numerous clients in creating a written last will and testament and other estate planning documents that resulted in disinheriting a child. We are confident that we can help you too. Please contact us to schedule your free 30-minute consultation where we can answer your questions and help you make decisions about your own estate plan.


If you have any questions about your estate or how to simplify your plans for your family and loved ones, we can help.  Call us toll free at 877-232-6101 or 208-232-6101 for a free consultation with Lane Erickson and the Racine Olson team of Estate Planning attorneys in Pocatello. You can also email Lane Erickson directly at We will answer your questions and will help you solve your Pocatello Estate Planning problems. I have helped numerous clients create their own customized estate plans and I’m confident that I can help you too.

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