Common Estate Planning Mistake #17: Failing to correctly disinherit a child you want to disinherit

There are various reasons a person may choose to disinherit a child from their estate. Maybe they no longer have an association with the child. Or, maybe the child doesn’t need an inheritance and, maybe, another child does. Choosing to disinherit a child is a personal choice that many families may, at some point, face.

So, how do you go about doing it?

The common misperception is that you can effectively disinherit a child simply by not naming that child in your will. The problem is, that doesn’t work.

In this Estate Planning Minute, Wes Coulson, Illinois Elder Law attorney, discusses another common estate planning mistake and how failing to correctly disinherit a child, you want to disinherit, is ineffective and may not even be recognized by the court.

Common Estate Planning Mistake #17: Failing to correctly disinherit a child you want to disinherit

Transcript:

Hi, I’m Wes Coulson and this is your Estate Planning Minute. This is another in our series on Common Estate Planning Mistakes. And the one that I want to talk about today is failing to effectively disinherit a child that you may wish to disinherit.

Various reasons for that: you may have no longer an association with the child, the child may not need an inheritance from you and you may want to leave your estate to others that you think need it more. The common misperception is that you can effectively disinherit a child simply by not naming that child in your will. The problem is, that doesn’t work.

There is a law called a testamentary oversight law, and what that says is that if you simply fail to name a close heir, like a child, the law presumes that it is just an oversight, and if they take it to court, they are still entitled to a proportionate of your estate.

So, what you need to do is to include an affirmative statement in your will, that you do intend to disinherit your child, and that is actually your intention and not an oversight. So, the moral of the story here is, there are a lot of little things that people don’t know about, that they think they can do this on their own. And these little things that they don’t know about can be the difference between having a good will or living trust in place, or that not being the case. Thanks.

For more Common Estate Planning Mistakes, visit these articles:


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