If you are estranged from a child or have given them their share of the money from the will while you were still alive, you may want to exclude them from your will. However, if you do not handle it correctly, your child may be able to dispute the will and take your estate to probate court. As such, you want to ensure that it is handled correctly. A probate attorney can ensure that that happens. Here are three things that a probate attorney can do to help minimize the chances of a child who was left out of the will fighting the will:
Stating Clearly That the Child is Excluded
One of the ways that you can leave a child out of the will is to clearly state that the child is excluded. For example, you may state that Jane gets $5000, John gets $2000, and Janet is excluded from the will. In many cases, this is all you need to prove that you are aware that the child exists and was not forgotten about, but that you do not want them to inherit money.
Listing the Reasons Why the Child is Excluded
Another thing that can be included in the will if you wish to exclude a child is the specific reasons why the child is excluded. In some states, excluding your child alone may still leave the door open for them to contest the will. But if you list the reasons why, such as you have loaned the child money during their lifespan that accounts for their inheritance or you do not speak to your child, it will be harder for the child to make a case that you wanted them to have the money.
Leaving the Child a Minimal Inheritance
The last way that a probate attorney can help you to exclude the child from your will is to actually leave the child a small inheritance. Some people may leave something as small as $1.00 or $100.00. This proves that you thought of the child and included them in the will and you made the conscious decision as to how much you wanted them to be left with.
If you are purposefully leaving a child out of your will, it must be made clear that this was not an error or an oversight and you are doing so on purpose. If that is not made clear, your child may be able to contest the will. A probate attorney can help ensure that the laws of your state are followed and that it is clear that the child was excluded from your will, not forgotten.Share