Can you legally disinherit a child?

| Apr 16, 2021 | Estate Planning |

Cutting a child or grandchild out of the will is often a common plot in television shows and movies, but this can occur in real life as well. If you are seriously considering disinheriting a child during your estate planning process in Florida, here are some important things you should know.

Don’t use the disinheritance as manipulation

Wealthy parents or grandparents may use the threat of disinheritance as a way to control a child or grandchild’s behavior and have complete jurisdiction over the estate planning process. If the owner of the will wants their children to attend a certain school or marry a certain individual, they will often use the family inheritance as an incentive. This form of manipulation puts a significant strain on family relationships which could lead to lengthy legal battles.

Controlling a child’s inheritance

There are some cases in which parents or grandparents don’t feel comfortable leaving an inheritance to dependents who are likely to squander the money. Instead of disinheriting a child, the owner of the will can use estate planning tactics to pay the child’s bills directly or give the child the total amount of inheritance in small increments. Setting up a lifetime trust for a child can make it easier to divide inheritance payments into small amounts. Incentives can be added to the trust payments as well, i.e. the child must remain drug-free, avoid arrest, or maintain a steady job.

For more information on estate planning and how to customize the conditions of your will, speak with a qualified estate and probate attorney who can assist you through the will composition process.

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