Figuring out who should inherit what, and why, has been a difficult subject from generation to generation. However, the more difficult subject has been who ought not to inherit anything, and why.
How is “disinheritance” difficult? What should you consider before disinheriting a family member? This subject was the focus of a recent article in Bloomberg titled “You Want to Cut Your Kid Out of Your Will. Or Do You?”
By the way, disinheritance is no means a recent phenomenon, as the article notes:
Inheritance disputes are as old as the Bible -- see Jacob and Esau. But now a broad, deep wave of acrimony is hitting the U.S. as 76 million baby boomers, born after 1946, inherit estates or die. According to one study by MetLife, boomers stand to inherit upwards of $8.4 trillion.
For starters, there are some very good reasons to support a total disinheritances. For example, petty differences or outright malice aside, you may choose to disinherit heirs who are well off in their own right. Consequently, more of the inheritance can be left to those heirs who are less well off.
More commonly, however, a disinheritance is used due to parental displeasure or lack of familial contact. Before you decide to disinherit, be sure you will not have a change of heart later. If you do, then you may not have the legal “capacity” to make such a change to your estate plans in Overland Park or elsewhere.
Beyond your own decisions are their future consequences to each of your heirs. Will it change relationships between those who inherited and those who did not? It is important to evaluate the cause and effect of your decisions on all concerned.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS, and to download free tools to help you organize your estate, visit my estate planning website.
Reference: Bloomberg (July 23, 2013) “You Want to Cut Your Kid Out of Your Will. Or Do You?”