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Should you ever disinherit your child?

July 3, 2019

In a perfect world, California couples could work hard for their wealth and pass it on to their children or grandchildren to be grown and appreciated. Unfortunately, this is not always the reality and at some point, you may choose to disinherit your child. This can be an extremely emotional, difficult choice to make but at times may be the only option you feel you have. Before you make the final choice, there are some important things to consider.

The Balance suggests that rather than disinheriting your child, you may choose to place their inheritance in a trust. This allows for a third party to control your assets even after you pass. You can set certain conditions on the trust so your child cannot simply change their ways to get your money. Many find this as a palatable alternative to completely disinheriting a child.

Removing your child from your estate plan will not control or fix their behavior. While the thought of an inheritance may seem nice, they are likely to return to the same bad habits and ways after you are passed, and they have their money. Some adults cannot be trusted to handle large sums of money without blowing it on drugs, alcohol or extravagant trips. If you do not like how your child is acting now, remember they are not prone to change after you die.

If you do choose to disinherit your child, it is not enough to simply leave their name out of the will. To avoid a contested will or a family debate, you will want to specifically state that they are not in the will and why. This can limit tension and conflict for family members who are grieving when you are deceased.

Disinheriting a child is a big decision and not one you should make impulsively. If you consider removing your child from your will, you may benefit from speaking to an estate planning attorney before doing so.

This is intended for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.