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Will excluding a child from an estate plan cause a will contest?

| Jul 9, 2021 | Uncategorized

Contested wills and trusts sometimes happen in Indiana and other states when heirs are unhappy with what a benefactor left them. For example, excluding a child from your estate plan could result in problems down the line.

You need a will

Nobody wants to think about it, but everyone needs a will to handle matters after their death. If you don’t write a will, the probate court will decide how to split up your assets, which could be contrary to your wishes. Dying intestate is something you can avoid by setting up an appointment with a lawyer to create a simple estate plan.

Should you disinherit a child?

Excluding a child from your estate plan may sound like something you want to do, but do you want to create bad blood between your heirs? You will not be there to deal with the fallout as everyone else has to pick up the pieces. Moreover, if your child decides to challenge your decision, it could lead to lengthy court cases involving contested wills and trusts.

A living trust controls your heirs’ inheritance

Do you worry that your child will go through their inheritance and spend it foolishly? A living trust appoints a trustee who will dole out the money in small quantities.

If you do want to go ahead with disinheriting the child, spell it out in your will. A simple failure to mention their name could look like an oversight. At the same time, it is wise not to go into details. You do not need to state why you are disinheriting the child. All the probate court needs to know is that you intentionally do so and that the court should act as if the child had predeceased you.

If you want to prevent your will from being contested, it could be a smart move to work with a law firm when establishing your estate plan. Legal counsel may also help you keep your plan updated.