Disinheriting an heir from your will is a very serious decision. Not only can it cause a rift in your family, failing to take the proper steps can also result in your will being contested in court. In order to prevent a poor outcome, The Balance offers the following advice.
Disinheritances are usually predicated on unfavorable behavior by an adult child. For instance, if your child experiences drug problems or is not living up to his or her potential, you might feel reluctant to provide a large influx of money. In this case, consider implementing a trust to have more control over the way your heir receives an inheritance. You can specify certain criteria within the trust that must be met before assets are passed along. Your trustee will be responsible for ensuring the terms of your estate plan are carried out.
You can also give a power of appointment to another family member. In this instance, you will be disinheriting a child, but you’ll place the inheritance within a special trust that is overseen by the person with power of appointment. Accordingly, the heir can be re-inherited by the power of appointment if the situation should change at some point.
If you feel that disinheritance is still the best option, you must take the proper steps. Don’t simply leave the heir out of your will. This can be easily contested, as the child left out of the will can claim that he or she was forgotten. Instead, use clear language that you’re deliberately leaving the person out of the will for reasons that are important to you. You can also consult with an estate planning attorney to ensure your will holds up in court.