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Should I Disinherit My Child?

When you are writing up your will and making your estate plan, you have a lot of things to consider. One thing to seriously think about is how much you want to leave to each child, or if you even want to leave something to each one of their offspring. Some people choose to disinherit a child for one reason or another. If you are considering this, you need to know a few things before you finalize it with a Des Moines estate planning lawyer.

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Why Do People Choose to Disinherit a Child?

People choose to disinherit a child for many reasons. Sometimes it seems like the fair or necessary thing to do, but it might not actually be a good idea. There could be better alternatives to explore.

Some common reasons to disinherit a child include:

Financial success: Maybe one child is far more successful than the others, so you think that you should leave them nothing. Fortunes can change though, and they might not always be the most successful of their siblings. You may not want to leave them out based on their finances at one particular point in time.

Special needs: People with disabilities are often reliant on benefits from the government. Inheriting too much money could interfere with those benefits, so some parents think that their child with special needs has to be disinherited. There are better options.

Irresponsibility: Some people disinherit a child due to their perceived irresponsibility. They think that they will blow through an inheritance and waste it. That is a possibility, but it is also possible for someone to grow and mature.

Are There Better Alternatives Than Disinheriting a Child?

In most cases, there is a better option than disinheriting a child completely. One thing we often recommend is setting up a trust. There are different types of trusts that are ideally suited for different situations, and our lawyers can explain how each kind of trust works and which might be a good fit for you.

One example is a special needs trust. These are made with disabled beneficiaries in mind. You can leave assets behind for your child without giving them too much money to qualify for the government benefits that they rely on. If you are worried about a child who is irresponsible with money, a trust can be a good option. You can appoint a trustee and control how quickly your son or daughter can go through the money.

Can My Will Be Challenged When I Disinherit a Child?

This is another potential problem to be aware of. If you disinherit a child, they have nothing to lose by contesting the will. This can lead to a long court battle that causes unnecessary stress for your loved ones.

Contact Our Estate Planning Lawyers

Were you planning to set up an estate plan on your own? We do not recommend it. There are many things to consider when making an estate plan, and you want to be sure that all agreements are legally valid in the state of Iowa. So contact Herting Law, PLLC and set up an appointment. Our experienced attorneys are ready to answer your questions and find solutions for your estate planning issues.

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