It Isn’t Easy to Disinherit a Child

Jul 26, 2018 | Disinheritance, Elder Law, Estate Planning

Senior couple working with laptop at home

The decision to disinherit is difficult and so is the legal process.

Disinheriting a child is not something people normally undertake lightly. To make sure they do not disinherit unintentionally, estate law makes sure the process to disinherit a child isn’t easy.  However, the rules vary by state, according to the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blogin “How to disinherit a Child: 5 Tips to do so Successfully’”

Some tips on the process include:

  • Hire an attorney to make sure that you follow the appropriate laws in your state.
  • Make sure that there is a paper trail available for your executor or trustee that establishes the reason for your decision and provides some evidence for it.
  • You might not want to be too specific about your reasoning for disinheriting the child, unless it is required by the laws of your state. In some states, if the child can prove that the reason is factually incorrect, then they can claim a portion of the estate.
  • Consider whether you want to tell the child before you pass away. Sometimes, it is best not to leave them surprised. However, at times, telling a child that he’s being disinherited can cause more problems.
  • Instead of disinheriting a child it might be better to give him or her a small inheritance and include a no-contest clause in your will. This is something an attorney can help you assess, based on the laws in your state.

An estate planning attorney can advise you on creating an estate plan that fits your unique circumstances.

Reference: Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog (June 26, 2018) “How to disinherit a Child: 5 Tips to do so Successfully.”