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Should you disinherit someone?

As you write your will, are you thinking of leaving someone out, of cutting them out of your estate plan? This is known in legal terms as disinheriting them. Sometimes, it means leaving them out from the beginning when they expected to be included, and other times, it means drafting a new version of a will to remove someone who was in it.

You can do this, and it happens more than a lot of people realize. It’s not always because parents and their adult children disagree or have no relationship. Sometimes, a parent cuts out a well-off child because other siblings need the money more. It’s not malicious; they just want to provide for those who need it.

No matter why you do it, though, experts warn that you do want to be careful and think about it for a while before doing it. One important point that they make is that people’s lives and situations can change between when a will is written and when you pass away.

For instance, maybe you have a well-off child now, but what if they lose their job? What if they get sick and spend all of their money on medical care?

Or, perhaps you have no relationship with an estranged child. What if, a year or two before you pass away, the two of you reconnect? If you fail to update your will, you are still going to disinherit your child.

Again, though, you do have the option to do this if you’d like. Make sure you know exactly what legal steps it requires.

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