Is it wrong for me to disinherit my older children?

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I feel my minor children need to be provided for if something happens to me.

It is not wrong for you to disinherit your older children if that’s your desire. However, if you are going to make the decision to disinherit them, you may want to consider the psychological effects it can have on those older children. Assuming that you love all your children equally, it would be important to sit down with them and explain why you are taking this action—and then reiterate your reasons in writing within the plan. This will certainly make things much easier than learning of this decision after your death.

A child already received their inheritance.

A parent might feel that they’ve already helped the child enough financially and they can now disinherit them in favor of the other children whom they have not helped as much. The idea is that the child received their inheritance in advance. A parent might have helped the child pay for college or even for the grandchildren’s college, help with buying a house, help with starting a business and other financial gifts over the years. A parent might feel that the child already received their inheritance.

The other children need more help.

Some children need more help than others. Parents might be inclined to leave inheritance to the children who were not as lucky.

In addition, disinheritance can still be worded in a way that removes the sting. For example, you could state that you love and value each of your children equally, but since your older children are already self-sufficient, you have decided to pass the bulk of your inheritance to the younger children.

Disinheriting a child is a common reason for a will being contested, a process which can be prolonged and expensive. That’s why it is essential to contact an experienced, highly skilled estate planning attorney if you want to protect your assets for your designated beneficiaries and prevent unpleasant arguments among family members after your death. You should be aware that nowhere in the U.S. is it legal to disinherit a minor child.