Can My Child Sue My Estate If I Disinherit Them?
When making a will, you have a great deal of flexibility in deciding who will receive your property after you die. Many people like to keep things simple and leave most of their estate to their children. But there are situations where you may decide to leave your child nothing. At first this might seem harsh, but consider the following scenarios:
- You and your child have been estranged for many years and have little or no contact.
- Your child has a history of wasting money and cannot be trusted with a large inheritance.
- Your child has made life decisions you disagree with, such as marrying a person that you disapprove of.
Whatever your reason, you are generally free to disinherit an adult child without restriction. But you should make it clear in your will that you are, in fact, choosing to leave them nothing. Again, it might sound cruel to explicitly state that you are disinheriting a child, but doing so can help to avoid unnecessary confusion–and possibly litigation.
Indeed, what you want to preempt is a situation where a child is omitted from your will–and that child then goes running to the probate court after your death and claims they were “accidentally” left out of your will. Florida law actually states that when a child is born or adopted after a parent’s will is signed, a court should assume the parent intended to revise their will to include the new child but accidentally omitted them. This rule does not apply, however, if it “appears from the will that the omission was intentional.”
If you have further questions about disinheritance and how to best protect your future estate from legal challenges, contact Pompano Beach omitted heir lawyer Mark R. Manceri today to schedule a consultation today.