Smaller Print Larger Print
800-336-4529 618-985-4529
Disinheriting a child or other heir is an extreme measure and should be done only after much thought and care in drafting a Last Will or Trust if a person is going to avoid a court challenge to the estate plan. In Illinois this technically can be done by merely omitting the disinherited child's name. But this can lead to costly litigation. So additional language ought to be incorporated into the estate planning documents.

Life Care Planning, Estate Protection, Disability,
VA & Medicaid Assistance Lawyers

Disinheriting a Child Requires Special Provisions


Blog Category:
8/12/2010
Richard J. Habiger, J.D.
Comments (0)

Parents or grandparents of a special needs child need to know that they do not need to disinherit the child or grandchild in order for the child to maintain their eligibility for Medicaid or other governmental benefits.Disinherited child or heir  However, in other situations, clients will occasionally tell me about a child or some other heir that they want to disinherit. This is not surprising, since there are often facts in these situations that may drive the client to take such extreme measures. For example, the child may have a substance abuse problem. My estate planning colleague in Wealth Counsel, attorney Greg Turza, offered the following comments, and I am sharing them with you:

Has one of your children run off and joined a religious cult where he was taught to reject his parents? Or become a compulsive gambler--or even worse -- a criminal?

Disinheriting a child who has become estranged from his family is often understandable. Knowing how to do it right is critical if you want to avoid court battles over your estate when you are gone.

Generally, children have no right to inherit under a will or trust. In Illinois you can exclude a child from your will or trust simply by omitting the disinherited child's name. But this can lead to costly litigation.

Suppose after you die the disinherited child claims that the omission was inadvertent? Or a product of "undue influence" by the children who were included? Costly litigation will erode their inheritance.

To avoid this calamity the best policy is to specifically mention the disinherited child and state explicitly your decision. For example: "I acknowledge the existence of my son Michael Smith but have decided to make no provision for him as beneficiary."

Remember, sometimes children are disinherited simply because they are wealthy or because the other children need more help. In such a case consider as an alternative: "It is not for lack of love and affection that I have decided to make no provision for Michael Smith in this instrument." 

To disinherit a child or heir requires attention to detail.  Knowing how to do it right is critical to preserving your estate from expensive court battles when you are gone.  However, if you have a disabled child or grandchild, you should not disinherit the child in order to preserve her or his entitlement to medical care and other public benefits.  Instead of disinheriting a disabled child or grandchild, you may set up a special needs trust to supplement, not supplant, the child's Medicaid and other governmental benefits.  Call now to discuss this topic, 618-549-4529 in Carbondale, or 800-336-4529 toll-free anywhere in Illinois, or leave a comment here.



Category: Special Needs & Disability Planning


There are no comments.

Post a comment

Post a Comment to "Disinheriting a Child Requires Special Provisions"

To reply to this message, enter your reply in the box labeled "Message", hit "Post Message."

Name:*

Email:* (will not be published)

Message:*

Notify me of follow-up comments via email.

Contact Us

Name *

Phone *

Email *

Tell us more *


Physical Address
1808 Clark Street, Carterville, Illinois 62918
Phone: 618-985-4529
Toll Free: 800-336-4529
Get Directions

Mailing Address
1808 Clark Street
Carterville, Illinois 62918
Phone: (618) 985-4529
Get Directions

Offices

Physical Address
1808 Clark Street, Carterville, Illinois 62918
Phone: 618-985-4529
Toll Free: 800-336-4529

Mailing Address
1808 Clark Street
Carterville, Illinois 62918
Phone: (618) 985-4529