Typically, when a person dies, a portion of that individual’s estate goes to a spouse or child. However, not everyone wants to leave assets to their family members when they pass on. If a person specifically disinherits a child in a will, that son or daughter is entitled to nothing. If a child is to be disinherited, it is important that a child be specifically written out of the will regardless of the quality of the relationship between the potential beneficiary and the deceased parent.
Those who are estranged from their parents may be able to claim that they were simply forgotten about if they are not mentioned in this document. It is also important to have a will or other estate plan documents in place. State law generally says that the assets of those who die intestate go to a surviving spouse, child or other close family member.
It is worth noting that state law may make it harder to completely disinherit a surviving spouse. Regardless of how a person’s estate plan is structured, it may be a good idea to make that plan known to family members prior to passing. This may help them to understand that they aren’t getting anything and why this is the case. Doing so may help them feel better about a parent or spouse’s decisions and feel less resentment after a loved one dies.
Thorough will planning may help a person ensure that his or her final wishes are respected after passing. An attorney may be able to help craft a will, and legal counsel may also be able to help edit or change a will that already exists. A legal professional may facilitate estate plan conversations between parents and children or between spouses. This may help everyone better understand what a plan aims to do.