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What do I need to know if I choose to disinherit my child?

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2024 | Estate Planning

Disinheriting your child is an emotional and financial decision that needs a careful and deliberate approach. It comes with significant ramifications, often prompting a will contest. An Arkansas court may also overrule your wishes.

Below are some of the things you need to know so you can manage disinheriting a child properly.

Controlling an inheritance

Generally, you should not threaten disinheritance to manipulate your child’s behavior. While this is a common plot point for television dramas and movies – parents using the threat to stop their child from doing something they disapprove of, or to coerce them to do something against their child’s will – it rarely works. Using money as a control mechanism does not always end well and might cause emotional distance between you and your child.

You can consider other solutions during estate planning. One of these include the creation of a trust, which is an option for parents who feel like their child might quickly use up the inheritance. This involves a trustee who manages the trust and who may give a certain amount or a regular allowance for bills and other purchases based on the rules established by the language of the trust. You may also provide more guidance on the types of purchases your child can make or impose a limit.

Explaining your reasons

It is helpful to make your intentions clear if you choose the disinheritance route. Consider clearly explaining the reasons for disinheriting your child. It is also ideal to have copies of the legal documents that make up your estate plan. This may discourage a will contest later.

Disinheriting a child can be a tricky process. If you choose to push through with it, getting advice from legal counsel can help you navigate the intricacies of this exceedingly difficult decision.