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Should you disinherit a child?

Disinheriting a child means cutting them out of your estate plan. When you pass away, even though they probably expected to get some of your wealth and assets, they get nothing.

You do have the legal ability to do this. But should you do it?

One thing to consider is the reason that you want to disinherit the child. Are there other options? For example, one common reason people give is a general sense of worry that the child will waste the money on things they don't need. Parents also worry about addictive behaviors, perhaps involving drugs and alcohol.

You could disinherit them for this reason, but you could also put your money into a trust. The trust controls how and when the money gets paid out and how it can be used. You may find that you can protect your money without denying your child everything.

Another thing to consider is that your heir may decide to challenge your estate plan. Children often do not react well to finding out they have been cut out of the will, especially if you have never talked about it in advance and they had no idea it was coming.

They may not win the challenge, of course. But the sheer fact that they may have the option could make things more complicated for the rest of your family. Is that what you want to do?

This isn't to say that disinheriting a child is always a bad idea. It's certainly an option. You just need to consider all of the ramifications carefully as you look into your legal options.

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