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Can you disinherit one of your children?

On Behalf of | Sep 14, 2020 | Estate Planning |

The assets that you’ve acquired during your life will eventually pass to the people you include in your estate plan. That’s why creating an estate plan is very important.

Some parents are in a situation where they know that one of their children cannot handle and inheritance. If your child has had issues with compulsive spending, addiction or crime, you may want to disinherit them in favor of their siblings. Can you legally do that in Mississippi?

Only your spouse has a statutory right to inherit

Children often feel entitled to the assets and wealth accumulated by their parents, but that sense of entitlement is not enshrined in state law. While your spouse does have a legal right to claim a certain amount of your estate, your children do not. Any inheritance you choose to leave them is goodwill on your behalf.

Disinheriting someone might lead to a challenge

Leaving one of your children out of your estate plan might lead to that child challenging it because they view it as unfair. Taking steps now can drastically reduce the likelihood of a successful challenge to your estate plan. Tell your family members what your wishes are. It may be an uncomfortable discussion, but it is a critical one.

Ultimately, you might consider using a trust to structure your estate plan so that the child that you worry about can only use their inheritance to cover education, medical costs or other necessary expenses instead of disinheriting them entirely. An experienced estate planning attorney can review this and other options with you to so that you can protect your loved ones and your assets.