There are valid reasons to cut someone out of your will. Yet, if you do not do it correctly, they may persuade a court to overrule your wishes.
Most kids would expect a share of their parent’s will. If a child gets zero, it’s logical they will be upset and may blame those who get something for their loss.
Why might you want to exclude someone from your will?
Reasons to disinherit someone could include:
- They do not deserve it: Make sure you look at the overall picture. Have they done one bad thing, or has behavior and attitude been undeserving for years?
- They do not need it: Remember the pride you got the first time you introduced your daughter to someone as “My self-made millionaire daughter”? A few million later, and she has far exceeded your hopes. If you feel she has more than she could ever need, discuss your plans to give her share of your estate to someone else. If she does not find out until you die, she may misread it and think that she was not your pride and joy after all.
- Others need it more: A hundred thousand would give your son a hand up in life, but having traveled to poorer parts of the world, you know it could help far more people if you sent it to a charity.
If you want to disinherit someone, make it clear in your will that you do not wish to leave them anything. It saves them challenging it on the ground that you might have forgotten to include them.
If the person no longer matters to you, then sure, let them find out once you are dead. Yet, if they matter, explain your decision now to help them understand. Getting legal help to create your estate plan ensures it can be implemented according to your wishes.