Things to consider if you want to disinherit your child

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As you start to think about your estate planning, you may consider disinheriting one-or more-of your kids. There are a lot of reasons that may cause you to think about writing one of your own children out of your will.

  • Maybe your child is struggling with addiction and you do not want to enable her or his destructive behaviors.
  • If you have a substantial estate, you may be worried about giving your kid a free pass on making his or her own money.
  • Perhaps you simply have an estranged relationship with one of your kids.

Whatever the reason you are considering this route, here are a few things you should think about. 

Find out if there is another way to accomplish your goals

Before you include a statement in your will disinheriting your son or daughter, look for another way to get what you desire. Sometimes, disinheritance can be difficult and lead to a year-long will contest after your death.

For example, you can establish a trust with strings attached. You could set it up so funds are distributed only if your child accomplishes certain things, such as maintaining a job, staying sober or entering rehab. According to Bloomberg, this is known as a sprinkle trust.

Make it clear in your will

If you come to the conclusion that there is no other way to achieve your aims but disinheriting your child, make sure you include a clear statement in your will about it, do not simply leave your child out.

Talk to an attorney about including a statement along the lines of, "I am intentionally leaving no inheritance for [child name]." This will leave no room for questions. 

Remember you can update your will

Maybe you will decide to disinherit your child now, but you change your mind in a few years. Keep this in mind and always remember to update your will whenever your wishes change. 

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