Can I Disinherit My Spouse in Michigan?

While disinheriting your spouse from your assets may seem like a harsh decision, there are many situations where it might make sense. For example, if you and your spouse are separated but not legally divorced, you may wish to disinherit them before the divorce is final. Perhaps you are in a second marriage and would like to leave all your assets to your children from a previous marriage.

There are many legitimate financial reasons behind disinheriting your spouse that have nothing to do with marital discord. Many states have spousal succession laws, however, that can make it difficult to write your spouse out of your will.

Removing your spouse from your will is not sufficient

According to Michigan’s Estate and Protected Individuals Code, your spouse will receive some of your assets, even if you do not put him or her in your will. Your spouse can go through the legal process of contesting the will and still receive some of your assets because they have the right to an elective share.

Creating certain types of trusts can accomplish your goal

If you wish for your spouse to receive none of your assets, you must create a certain type of trust to accomplish this. When setting aside your assets in a trust, you can designate the beneficiaries you wish to receive inheritances. Most trusts do not need to go through probate, so it is unlikely that your spouse will successfully contest the lack of inheritance.

While disinheriting a spouse in Michigan may not seem feasible, with enough proper planning you can ensure your assets end up where you want them to.