Russ Cook & Associates, PC
view our Practice areas

Disinheritance: Is it always dramatic?

Disinheriting someone in a will can seem like a painful slight; a way to hurt someone or reinforce the message that there was no remaining value in a relationship. 

However, the fact is that sometimes disinheriting someone in a will means something else -- something far less dramatic than what people expect. Before you make any assumptions about disinheritance or using such language in your own estate plan, you should know that there can be another side to this decision.

Burt Reynolds' decision to disinherit

As a reminder that there can be more to disinheritance than meets the eye, we can look at the estate plan of Burt Reynolds, who recently passed away.

According to reports, Reynolds stated in his will that he intentionally omitted his only son. He stated that he did so because he already provided for his son during his lifetime. He also noted in his will that he established a Declaration of Trust for the benefit of his son.

While we cannot know for sure what this means, as the contents and specifications of a trust are private, sources reason that Reynolds' disinheritance of his son was not meant as a slight, but rather as an indication that he had other arrangements in place. 

Lessons we can learn

While it might seem tempting to bristle upon seeing the word "disinherit" in a person's will, it is wise to remember that such decisions are not always as dramatic as they seem, as appears to be the case with Reynolds and his son. And because other planning options, including trusts, are confidential, the public may never be privy to these details. This can create some confusion, but typically only among those who are not involved in the trust or estate administration process.

This can also be a reminder that there is great value placed on the things people say in their estate plans. Often, these documents are the final word on a person's wishes, and they are under great scrutiny. Because of this, it is vital that the language in these documents be clear, enforceable and accurately reflective of a person's wishes.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

What Our Clients Are Saying About Us

  • “Everyone we came in contact with was wonderful. The staff and Russ treated us like family at all times.”

    - June S.
  • “Being new to the area having moved from out of state, I was searching for an attorney to assist in elder estate planning for my mother. I was referred to Russ Cook & Associates and found the firm as a whole and Russ Cook himself to be very helpful and accommodating to my needs, as well as experienced and very knowledgeable on the matter I was seeking assistance. I would definitely recommend Russ Cook and Associates.”

    - Brad H.
  • “Mr. Cook and his staff were phenomenal to work with on my will. They are extremely professional and friendly and made the process seamless. They go above and beyond!”

    - Amber C.
  • “Russ took the time to answer my questions by email, so that I knew exactly what would take place when I visited his office and his time as well as mine was used efficiently. I appreciated his thoroughness and his professionalism, as well as that of his staff.”

    - JoAnn G.
  • “Overwhelmingly positive experience.”

    - Stephen W.
Email Us For A Response

Schedule An Initial Consultation Today

Contact us today to schedule a consultation by sending us an email or by calling 615-200-9117.
We assist clients throughout the Nashville area.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Brand Contact

5141 Virginia Way
Suite 220
Brentwood, TN 37027

Phone: 615-200-9117
Fax: 615-370-5938
Brentwood Law Office Map

Office Hours:
Monday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Thursday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Friday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Summer Hours Office:
8:00 AM - 1:00 PM on Fridays
May 24th Through August 30th

Map Image