Contact The Firm

Can a child be disinherited in a will?

On Behalf of | Feb 2, 2022 | Estate Planning |

Parents and children disagree on issues daily, but when those disagreements become harmful or central in the lives of either party, some parents consider disinheriting their children. This is a process that should be studied seriously because it is not a minor issue.

In most states, it is almost impossible to disinherit a minor child. This means that if a parent dies before a child turns 18, the courts will use estate funds to provide the child with what they need.

Behavior control is not a good reason for disinheritance

No matter how old children are, they still make choices that affect their parents. When a child exhibits destructive behavior, such as drug abuse, excessive gambling or violence, there are other ways to control what the child receives without disinheriting them. According to the Balance, holding an inheritance over a child’s head is not a good way to change behavior, as the child will likely return to the behavior as soon as they have control of what they want.

While it is hard to control behavior, an inheritance can be controlled. Parents can create a living trust, which gives them power over how and when money is dispersed to their children after they pass away. Those who want their children to clean up their behavior before they receive their inheritance can include this as a condition with the trust.

Less extreme options are available

If a parent does not want to set up a living trust, they can also leave a modest gift rather than a large inheritance. A legal will and estate plan make the person’s intentions clear and give heirs insight into what should be done with the estate.