If you’re creating an estate plan, you do not have to include everyone in your will. But cutting someone out who expected to inherit is called disinheriting them, and it must be done carefully. It is usually best to use a disinheritance clause so that it makes your wishes clear.
You may be wondering why people do this and if you’re in a situation where it makes sense. Let’s look at a few reasons while keeping in mind that every situation is unique:
In some cases, parents and their adult children will be estranged, perhaps because the children are not interested in being involved in their life anymore. In these cases, elderly parents will often disinherit the child so that they can give their inheritance to someone that they are closer to.
Another reason people will sometimes cite is that they believe a certain heir is irresponsible. Maybe they think the person will just use their inheritance to buy illegal drugs or to do something else they wouldn’t approve of. There are ways that you can address this using trusts if you would not like to cut the person out entirely.
Finally, there are occasionally positive reasons. for this kind of action For instance, an older child may be financially stable while a younger child is not, so disinheriting the older sibling is only done as a means to give more financial assistance to the person who needs it the most. The disinherited sibling may completely agree with this choice, understanding that they don’t need that financial asset in the same way.
No matter how you’d like to structure your estate plan, take the time to consider all of your options carefully.