The Moneyist: My father reportedly left me $1 in his will at my stepmother’s urging. Is it true that I cannot receive anything from his estate?

by | Sep 9, 2022 | Stock Market

Dear Quentin, I have heard that if someone just leaves you $1 in their will, you cannot receive anything from their death. Is this true? My father passed, several years ago, and my sister eventually sold the house. I just don’t know if it would be worth it to see if I’m entitled to something from the sale of the estate.

I was told years ago by a friend that I was left $1 dollar in his will, and that my father cut me out of his will at the request of my stepmother. How would I go about checking into this? Desperately Seeking AdviceDear Desperately, You don’t have to leave a child $1 in your will to disinherit them. You can do that by simply naming the person and expressing your wish that they do not share in your estate. Estate law varies by state. In California, and some other states, if you don’t mention a child by name it could be interpreted that the testator — the writer of the will — forgot them.  In fact, leaving $1 can unnecessarily complicate things. “Going this route may even end up costing your estate,” according to this opinion written by Snyder Law, a California-based law firm. The executor will need to write a check. “The executor or trustee will be unable to close out the estate’s checking account until the check is cleared.”

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