Some tools to avoid probate and disinheriting a child from your estate


Make your bank accounts POD, TOD or ITF and using a lady bird deed or enhanced life estate deeds are tools to avoid probate. In Florida, you have no obligation to leave anything to your adult child and you can disinherit a child from your estate.


Paul: Question about inheritance. My dad is 89. He's got about two and a half million bucks. I think that falls under the current tax system, but he is reticent to set up a trust. He has the accounts set up on a transfer on death.

Attorney Tom Olsen: All right.

Paul: Then, got the house in something called a Lady Bird deed. I'm just curious if that's the best situation for me and my sister-

Attorney Tom Olsen: Paul, first of all, your father can pass up to $11 million free of death taxes, also known as inheritance taxes, also known as estate taxes. What your dad is now thinking about is, how am I going to avoid probate? How am I going to avoid attorney’s fees when I pass away? How am I going to make things simple, easy, inexpensive for my kids? Making his accounts TOD and using a Lady Bird deed off the top my head is a great idea. It'd be similar to what we would be recommending to him.

One thing I would ask him, what would be his dad, when was the last time you went and met with an attorney, just to double check everything you've done, make sure you're still on the right track here? If he says, it's been five years, I would still suggest he sit down and talk to an attorney, just to see what's been done.

Paul: That's a great suggestion. That does bring up another follow-up, hopefully, a quick question is, he has his first son, my half-brother. He has written him out of the will.

Attorney Tom Olsen: All right.

Paul: One of my buddies said that could cause more problems than it's worth. You should at least give him something, and I don't have any knowledge on that. Is that something your-

Attorney Tom Olsen: Paul, here in the state of Florida, your father is not obligated to leave anything to his adult children. Paul, I would ask, would be that your dad definitely has a written will that in here says, "I've intentionally omitted my oldest son, Bill. I've done that for my own reasons. It's not an oversight on my part.” I would want to make sure that language is within his will.

Paul: Very helpful. Thank you very much, sir.

Attorney Tom Olsen: All right, Paul.