There are instances when you might want to exclude a child from your estate plan. For example, you may consider excluding a child if a constant pattern in the child’s life indicates that an inheritance would be misused. You might also consider excluding a child from your estate if there is a split between you and the child. Whether excluding a child is your wish or whether it is in your child’s best interest, be cautious. A disinherited heir is likely to contest your Will.

There are ways to avoid the chance of a contest to your Will. One way is to include the child and give the child a smaller portion of the estate and include no contest provisions in your Will. While this is not always practical, this strategy can often times protect against future litigation.

Another option if your concern is that the child will misuse the inheritance is to establish a trust for the child. You can then name a trustee who makes distributions to the child based on standards and rules that you establish.

If you are considering excluding a child or disinheriting a child, you should first consider all of the options available that may address your concerns without causing litigation or a split in the family after your death. We work with clients to develop Estate Plans that include provisions to address their specific needs and the needs of their family members. If you need expert advice in this area, contact Grissom Law at 678-781-9230.

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