Why would you leave an heir $1?

On Behalf of | Jul 9, 2022 | Estate Planning

Every now and then, you hear about someone leaving one of their children just a single dollar in their will. This famously happened to TV personality Tucker Carlson, for example. If you’re trying to make your own estate plan, you may be wondering why people would do this and if it would work for you.

The reason that people do it is that they’re essentially trying to disinherit the person in question. They don’t want to leave them anything. But they’re worried that omitting them from the estate plan will just look like a mistake, so they decide to leave them a single dollar instead. This makes it clear that it’s not a mistake and the estate executor will simply be able to carry out the directions in the will. 

Do you need to do this to make your wishes known?

You can do this if you are simply trying to create evidence that you didn’t forget about someone. You want them to know that it was intentional. But you certainly don’t have to do it.

There are many other ways to accomplish this goal. Some people simply put a note in the will saying that they are leaving nothing at all to a specific person. That is also good enough to show that you didn’t omit them accidentally. Other people will leave the person a small asset that may have no value. Again, you can do it if you want, but it’s not necessary.

Writing your estate plan can be complicated without help

If you’re interested in disinheriting someone, it probably means that your estate plan is going to be a little bit more complex than it would be otherwise. Be sure you know exactly what steps to take so that your wishes are followed.