question mark

“This is the thing people who disinherit someone don’t understand: It puts a huge amount of pressure on those who aren’t being disinherited,” says Caschetta, whose experience inspired her to write a book on the subject that she’s trying to get published. “Suddenly you have this rift and they have this choice. ‘Do I do what Dad wanted when he wrote this will and he was angry, even though many years have passed and we know they made up?’ Everybody’s put in this terrible position.”

Deciding who will inherit your estate and how much they will inherit is a tough decision that takes a lot of thought and consideration. So imagine how hard it can be to elect to disinherit an heir.

How is “disinheritance” difficult? What should you consider before disinheriting a family member? This subject was the focus of a recent article in Bloomberg titled You Want to Cut Your Kid Out of Your Will. Or Do You?.

For starters, there are some very good reasons to support a total disinheritance. Petty differences or outright malice aside, you may choose to disinherit heirs who are well off in their own right. Consequently, more of the inheritance can be left to those heirs who are less well off.

More commonly, however, a disinheritance is used due to parental displeasure or lack of familial contact. Before you decide to disinherit, be sure you will not have a change of heart later. If you do, then you may not have the legal “capacity” to make such a change to your estate plans.

Beyond your own decisions are the consequences to each of your heirs. Will it change relationships between those who inherited and those who did not? It is important to evaluate the cause and effect of your decisions on all concerned.

Reference: Bloomberg (July 23, 2013) You Want to Cut Your Kid Out of Your Will. Or Do You?

For more information on estate planning, please visit my estate planning and elder law website.

Mr. Amoruso concentrates his practice on Elder Law, Comprehensive Estate Planning, Asset Preservation, Estate Administration and Guardianship.