In some families, it is often said as a joke. For example, “make me breakfast, or you are out of the will.” However, in some cases, this becomes a serious matter. Sadly, family estrangements are common and familial relationships get ruined because of silly fights.
These fights can permanently change and destroy relationships, so much so that the parents and their children never talk to each other again. If you are considering disinheriting your child, you should consider a few things. However, if your decision is final, an estate planning lawyer can help you throughout the process.
Factors to consider before disinheriting your child
Things change with time.
If you are angry with your child for a fight or for a certain lifestyle choice they have made, you may want to leave them out of the will. However, it is important to understand that one’s emotions are very much heightened when they are angry.
You should never make decisions related to your estate when you are in such a state. Moreover, things change with time. Your child may get sober in the future, or they may make amends for whatever they have done.
Disinheriting your child may affect others.
If you want to hurt your child by not giving them a part of your estate, you should understand that you might not be the only person to be affected by this. Remember that your child may get married one day and have kids of their own. Your grandchildren may not have enough financial resources and not enjoy the life you would want for them.
Moreover, if your child remains financially unstable, other family members may feel obligated to help them. Disinheriting your child can affect familial relationships.
Make your intentions clear.
If you have made a final decision not to keep your child in the will, make sure you communicate that with them. Do not keep this a secret and then break the news at a moment when they least expect it.
No matter how angry you might be, this is something you should inform them well in advance. This is especially important if your child thinks they have a good relationship with you. Your child deserves to know why you chose to disinherit them.
Take the decision seriously.
How you might be feeling right now may not be what you feel a decade later. Things that sting now may look like a small deal in the future. So before you officially remove your child from the will, make sure this is what you really want. Think about how you would feel leaving your child in dire financial straits when you pass away.