Are there alternatives to disinheriting a child?

On Behalf of | Jan 17, 2020 | Estate Planning

Estate plans change. As you age and as your beneficiaries change, circumstances and relationships can turn into something entirely different. The relationship between an adult child and his or her parents can be a complex one. In Washington, your estate plan may reflect those complications. The question that many have is whether it is a good idea to disinherit a child. 

When a parent considers disinheriting a child, there is usually a reason for it. The parents may disagree with the child’s lifestyle. He or she may struggle with money, addiction or may possibly show an unkindness towards the parents. If you are at this point, then odds are you are at the end of your rope. You may feel trapped. 

The Balance warns parents not to use inheritance as a way to bribe or control a person’s behavior. This does not generally work. You should not use money to control or manipulate a situation. To be honest, this route rarely works. Now, if you worry about your child’s ability to manage his or her inheritance or you worry about him or her taking on a passive and less productive role in society, you can control the inheritance. 

You can make a point that your child can only transfer small increments out of his or her trust. In addition, you can ensure that the funds only pay for bills and other life expenses. There are also stipulations that you can write into your estate plan. For instance, you can create incentives. Perhaps your child has to go drug free or attend university to receive the inheritance. 

The above is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice.