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Can I disinherit my spouse?

On Behalf of | Mar 10, 2022 | Estate Planning

As much as you tolerated your spouse during your marriage, you will always have certain ill feelings toward him or her. As you prepare your will, you wonder whether it is possible to disinherit your spouse.

Well, in a way, you can in Nevada. But the result remains a split decision because Nevada is a community property state. No matter what, your spouse will walk away with his or her share of property and assets from the estate.

Nevada: a community property state

In most states, you cannot disinherit your spouse. The only exceptions are if the spouse agreed in either a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. But Nevada is a different story.

Nevada is a community property state, which requires an even division of property secured during the marriage. This holds true regardless of which spouse paid for the property as well as whose name is on the deed or title.

Couples in community property states jointly own marital property, assets and income. For example, if you earn $70,000 per year, that amount also is considered your spouse’s income. The same holds true if your spouse has a $50,000 debt, meaning that you, too, have the obligation to repay it.

In Nevada and other community property states, a spouse is entitled to half of this property and may not be disinherited from that specific amount. However, you as the testator may leave your half of the assets to someone other than your spouse if you choose to do so.

Spouse gets portion

Think this through carefully if you choose to disinherit your spouse. He or she may know the reasons why you made the decision or maybe even agreed to it beforehand. However, your spouse will still walk away with a significant amount of assets from your estate since Nevada is a community property state.

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