Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Dilemma of Disinheritance

The motives for cutting a relative out of an estate range from the most primal — hate, abandonment, regret — to the most rational.

Planning what to leave behind to loved ones can be a difficult matter since, even with taxes out of the picture, it means explaining your choices and your hopes. On the other hand, planning to specifically disinherit someone can be even more difficult.

Inheritance and disinheritance are emotionally charged concepts. The motivations that go into disinheritance are especially complex, as discussed in a recent article in The Trust Advisor titled Why Are Family Members Disinherited?.

Teaching point: If you are considering disinheritance, then it also is important to think about what that means, both for yourself and the excluded heir. There are many reasons to disinherit, some more reasonable than others and some worth abandoning upon meditative reflection.

Still, if you must disinherit, then consider explaining your basis for that decision. While it is your choice and right, your legal documents must be clear and withstand (oftentimes) inevitable legal challenge by the affected heir.

If you want to talk in more detail about a disinheritance issue, please contact me.  I’m available to answer questions and to meet with you.

Reference: The Trust Advisor (April 15, 2012) “Why Are Family Members Disinherited?


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