Should you disinherit your children?

| Aug 25, 2020 | Estate Planning

Love them or hate them, your children are your children. As they grow up, it can become easy to fall out with them. When you are lying on your deathbed, chances are the differences you had will no longer be important to you or them.

Families fall out all the time, yet sometimes these fallouts can lead to actions you regret later. One of the harshest punishments a parent can give their child is to disinherit them. Yet if you do it, you may never have the chance to reinstate them in your will as death is rarely predictable. Consider if you want to part on bad terms. 

Cutting someone out of your will, or threatening to do so, is unlikely to change their behavior. If your child is showing problematic behaviors, consider using a trust to pass them their inheritance. It can prevent them from squandering the money you leave them while still giving them some support.

If you are sure you wish to disinherit your child, you should document this legally. Otherwise, if your child challenges your will, a court may assume you forgot to include the child. South Dakota law does not allow you to disinherit a minor. So if you have reached the end of your rope with your teenager’s attitude, make sure you stay alive until they turn 18.

Make sure you revisit your estate plan regularly. Your confrontational teenager may turn into a loving adult who cares for you in your old age. It would be a shame to leave them with empty hands because you forgot to update your will.