Part of your estate planning includes deciding whether or not to leave your children any of your assets. Of course, you have the right to disinherit a child, but it might not be the best option for avoiding family conflict. If you are struggling to decide how to handle leaving assets to your adult children, here are some options to consider.
You are not legally obligated to leave any of your adult children your assets. If you have decided that you want to disinherit one or all of your children, it is important that you explain your decision.
Your explanation will make it more difficult for a disinherited child to contest your decision. In your explanation, it needs to be clear that your decision is intentional and that is was not influenced by anyone else.
Disinheriting an adult child can seem harsh. If you did not want to leave a child any of your assets because he or she has proven to be irresponsible, there is a way to include him or her in your will without feeling like you are rewarding bad behavior.
You can put conditions on the inheritance you leave. For instance, you can opt to leave the money in a trust until he or she finishes school.
You could also choose to spread the payments from the trust over a period of time. For instance, the trust could payout at the ages of 25, 30, and the remaining part at 35.
A conditional inheritance has limits. For instance, you cannot leave your child money based on him or her divorcing or marrying a certain person. To determine if the condition you want to set is legal, talk to your estate planning attorney.
If there is a considerable amount of assets to consider, a dynasty trust might be the best option. A dynasty trust is designed to last for years until the money runs out. The purpose of this trust is to ensure that your child's creditors and spouses cannot get their hands on the money.
Dynasty trusts are even more complex than a regular trust, so it is important to work with an attorney to ensure that it meets all of the legal requirements and estate tax rules.
Making the decision to disinherit a child can be a difficult one. Fortunately, there are other options available to ensure that your child is taken care of after you have passed away. To learn more about estate planning, contact Robert Stone Attorney at Law.