When it comes time to craft your estate plan, your first thought likely is not about disinheriting anyone. However, it is not as unusual to do so as you might think. If you are considering disinheriting one of your children, it is important to consider the decision carefully.
Avoid the drama that can ensue from disinheriting by handling the process with care.
Consider a revocable trust
If you create a revocable trust, you can designate the beneficiaries for the trust and avoid probate entirely, which also eliminates any will contest. The trust is an independent, legally valid entity that cannot be disputed, so you avoid the risk of conflict when you name the beneficiaries and disinherit a child.
Discuss your intentions
When you make the decision to disinherit a child, the easiest way to avoid conflict afterward is to be open about that intention. Make sure everyone in your family understands that you have made this decision willingly, and communicate it to the child in question as well. This eliminates any surprises at the time of the will reading, which minimizes the risk of a contest.
Add joint owners
Joint ownership on your significant assets can help reduce the assets that go into probate. That minimizes the estate value disseminated on the probate case, which can ultimately discourage anyone disinherited from contesting it.
These are a few important considerations if you want to disinherit an adult child in your estate plan. Be practical and realistic about the process and discuss it with your family.