Parents may become disappointed with a child and plan to leave them out of their estate plan. However, they may want to think again, considering the potential problems that can follow.

Sometimes the black sheep of the family can create sufficient problems that parents may consider cutting him or her from the estate plan.  However, that can prove to be a bad idea, according to the Globe and Mail in “Think twice, wealthy family, before cutting the black sheep out of your will.”

One big thing to consider is that a child who receives nothing, has no incentive to not cause problems.

A no-contest clause can prevent someone who does receive an inheritance from challenging an estate plan that they do not like, but it cannot prevent someone from doing so who is set to receive nothing or very little from an estate.

This can make cutting a child out of an estate plan a very expensive proposition. This is because the child has no reason to not launch legal fights.

A black sheep child can also be more easily controlled by using an estate plan to incentivize that child into desired behaviors.

An estate planning attorney can advise you on creating an estate plan that fits your family’s circumstances. It could include a trust that only distributes money for good behavior.

Reference: Globe and Mail (Sep. 19, 2017) “Think twice, wealthy family, before cutting the black sheep out of your will.”

For more information on asset preservation and estate planning, please visit my estate planning website.

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