Disinherit Legal Meaning and Definition

Here is a simplified definition of the legal term Disinherit.

Disinherit (verb)

To disinherit refers to the deliberate act of preventing a person from receiving an inheritance that they would usually receive upon the death of another individual. This is often done through specific provisions in a will or an addendum called a codicil. However, there are certain legal protections, varying by state, that prevent total disinheritance of spouses. There may also be provisions to deter individuals from challenging the validity of the will, known as "in terrorem" clauses. Even if a child is not explicitly mentioned in a will, they may still be eligible for an inheritance as a "pretermitted heir."