Just like every family in Minnesota is different, so is every estate plan. Although disinheriting a child is unusual, there are many different reasons why some parents choose to do it. In many cases, disinheritance occurs not because of a rift in the parent-child relationship, but because of a parent’s worry for their child.
There are other solutions
Before you make the decision to disinherit your child from your last will and testament, it’s important to consider other solutions. If you have real concerns about your child’s behavior and spending, for example, you can set up a lifetime trust. A trust disburses money to your child in specific ways so that it is more difficult for them to blow through their inheritance. You could use a trust to:
- Pay your child’s living expenses directly
- Pay for your child’s college tuition
- Distribute payments to your child incrementally
One of the great things about trusts is that they can be tailored to your specific needs. For example, you could provide your heirs and beneficiaries with a trust that gives incentive payments for desired behaviors. The trust could include financial incentives for staying drug free, maintaining full-time employment or graduating college.
How to properly disinherit a child
If you are still determined to completely disinherit your child, it is important to do it right. Wills can be contested if they include vague language that appears to be a last minute decision or an accidental oversight. Conversely, writing too many details about the reasons behind disinheritance can create an opportunity for the disinherited heir to argue that circumstances have changed.
Be clear and tie up loose ends
Make your intentions for disinheritance clear and concise in your will, and be sure to update your beneficiary designations. If you suspect that the will may be challenged, you may also consider adding a no-contest clause.