Unless you and your spouse have a valid legal agreement otherwise, you will not be able to disinherit him or her in all but the most unusual circumstances. In every state, a spouse is entitled to a spousal elective share of a deceased partner's estate, although the exact amount of the share varies between states.
Consequently, if you make no provisions in your estate plan for your spouse, your spouse can elect to take his or her share and the court will alter your plans. Therefore, when you are creating your estate plan, you need to consider how to leave an inheritance for your spouse, even if you would rather not.
There are several different ways to do so, as The Times Herald discusses in "Options for leaving an inheritance to a spouse."
The biggest decision is whether to use a will or a trust.
With a will, you can leave assets for your spouse to receive outright as free of any restrictions or control. However, there are disadvantages, especially if you want to avoid probate and ensure that the spouse will leave any remaining assets to heirs of your choice, when the spouse passes away.
With a funded living trust, probate may not be required. There are also ways to make sure that any remaining assets are given to people of your choosing. There are several different types of trusts that can be used to include testamentary trusts under a will, once the estate clears probate.
An estate planning attorney can go over your options and help you to determine the best option for you.
Reference: The Times Herald (Feb. 20, 2017) "Options for leaving an inheritance to a spouse."