When you talk about disinheriting people — leaving them out of your will and estate plan — it’s often viewed as a negative thing. For instance, maybe you have a child who is irresponsible with money or has had frequent arrests for drug use. Cutting them out of the estate plan could be the only way to protect your estate or to protect them from themselves.
But it doesn’t always work this way, You can absolutely disinherit people for other reasons — and it may even be the right thing to do.
When heirs have disparate income and needs, adjustments to your estate may be warranted
Sometimes, people have children who have vastly different incomes and needs. Say you have three children, and two of them are struggling financially. The third, however, has been very successful and actually has more assets than you do, despite being far younger.
If you choose to leave all of your own assets to the two children who need them most, cutting out the wealthy child, you’re not doing it out of anger. You’re just trying to do the most possible good with your money and help your family in every way you can. Leaving $100,000 to someone who has nothing can be life-changing. Leaving it to someone who earns twice that much every year may hardly even be noticed. It’s up to you to decide where you want your money to go.
Similarly, if you have two children who are self-sufficient and prosperous and a third child is disabled and has limited means, you may want to focus your estate plans on providing solely for the benefit of your disabled child. After all, you know your other children can take care of themselves.
Setting up your estate plans
Cutting anyone out of an estate plan does increase the odds of a dispute. You definitely need to know how to get everything set up properly. An experienced attorney can help you explore your options and make your plans.