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Considerations to make before disinheriting a child

If you have ever drafted a will, you probably understand the ramifications of doing so and appreciate the careful consideration that needs to go into the process. When determining how you want to allot your assets in the event of your passing, you may consider things such as who you trust the most, or who has children of their own that may need support. You may, too, give some thought to how each of your children may decide to use any funds you leave to them.

Though it is not particularly common, situations do sometimes arise that may lead you to think about disinheriting one of your children from your will. Before doing so, however, you may want to consider the following:

Making the inheritance conditional with a trust

Creating a trust gives you a good bit of freedom in terms of how your funds will be distributed, so it might be a wise move if your reasons for considering disinheritance have to do with a fear of how your money will be spent. For example, maybe you want to disinherit a child because of a severe drug addiction, or because he or she is lazy. You can include specifications in the will to ensure the funds will only be allocated under certain circumstances, such as when your child stays drug-free or holds down a job for a predetermined period.

Giving another trusted family member power of appointment

Another possible alternative to completely disinheriting your child is to do so on a temporary basis while giving someone else you trust, such as your spouse, power of appointment. He or she could then essentially "undo" the disinheritance if that child gets his or her act together and remedies the problem that caused the disinheritance in the first place.

Avoiding making threats as a means of controlling behavior

Before you make the decision to disinherit your child from your will, take a good, honest look at your reasons for doing so. If you are contemplating the move because your child has proven him or herself irresponsible and you want to see that behavior change, manipulating your child into doing so is unlikely to encourage long-term changes in his or her behavior. Furthermore, threatening your child and using money to do so may have lasting effects and cause irreparable damage to your relationship.

The implications involved with disinheriting your child can be permanent, unless you take strides to see otherwise. For more about how to disinherit your child, draft a will or establish a trust, consider contacting a lawyer.

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