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California Wills & Trusts
Copyright 2017, Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a member of the LexisNexis Group.

2-40 California Wills & Trusts 40.syn


Disinheritance and No-Contest Clauses


Editorial Consultants--John A. Hartog;Albert G. Handelman;and James B. Ellis

Chapter Summary


This chapter from California Wills and Trusts discusses disinheritance and no-contest clauses.

The chapter first distinguishes between disinheritance and no-contest clauses. It discusses the legal effect of a disinheritance clause, including the limitations of such clauses and the persons against whom such a clause is effective. The discussion then turns to the use of disinheritance clauses, covering general considerations, the disinheritance of a spouse and the disinheritance of a child.

The chapter goes on to examine the drafting of a disinheritance clause. It covers the disinheritance of a specific person, class or omitted heirs, specifying the reasons for disinheritance and providing for a nominal devise in the disinheritance clause. Finally, the chapter covers no-contest clauses, including their use and effectiveness, along with a discussion on drafting an effective no-contest clause.

California Wills and Trusts (Matthew Bender) provides a practical guide to planning, drafting, interpreting, and executing wills and trusts in California, explaining both the law and underlying estate and tax planning concepts. It contains extensive coverage of wills, testamentary and inter vivos trusts (both revocable and irrevocable), and durable powers of attorney, along with complete and individual provisions of wills, trusts, and codicils. It also incorporates recent legislative enactments and revisions of the Probate Code, as well as up-to-date citations and references to California statutes and cases.


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For additional discussion of the statutes governing omitted heirs and other statutes dealing with the persons who take under a will, see Ch. 21, Devisees.

For a discussion of the anti-lapse statute, see Ch. 24, Devises--General Considerations.

For a discussion of the statutes regulating the order of intestate succession, see Ch. 1, Overview of California Law Governing Disposition of Estates.

For a discussion of no-contest clauses and disinheritance clauses used in inter vivos trust instruments, along with their specific effects in that context, see Ch. 91, Organization of Trust Instrument.


See Page on Wills (Matthew Bender) for an examination of topics such as the history of the law of wills and testaments, the elements of the will, alteration and spoliation, probate and contest, construction of the will, and much more.

See Murphy's Will Clauses: Annotations and Forms with Tax Effects (Matthew Bender) for over 1,400 will and trust clauses with related documents, including annotations with laws of all states, estate planning advice, sample computations, discussion of estate and gift taxes, and living wills.

See Modern Estate Planning (Matthew Bender) for coverage of all key estate planning topics, including gift taxation, transfers and interests subject to estate and gift taxation, estate and gift tax deductions, exclusions and credits, and generation-skipping transfers.

See Estate Planning Forms and Clauses (Matthew Bender) for an expanded selection of essential will and trust forms and clauses, including detailed clauses specifying investment, business management, and other administrative powers of the executor or trustee.

See Current Legal Forms for Estate Planning (Matthew Bender) for a wealth of sample estate planning forms, drafting guidance, and expert legal commentary to assist in the fundamental and often time-consuming task of document drafting.
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