From Our “Ask a Question” mailbag: How do I disinherit my son? “My son is good for nothing bum, and I want to cut him out of my will. Can you tell me how to disinherit my son from my entire estate? I live in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.”
There is no legal obligation in New Jersey to leave any assets to your children. But, if you die without a Will (“intestate”) the New Jersey Rules of Intestacy may give your child a share. If you wish to exclude a child from your estate, you need a properly drafted Will that clearly reflects your wishes.
There is no Legal Obligation in New Jersey to Leave Your Child any Part of Your Estate.
When excluding a child, you should assume that child will attempt to challenge your will. Have an experienced Estate Planning Lawyer draft the Will. Care must be given not to give the disinherited child ammunition to use in court. For example, if you plan to leave all your assets to one child and exclude the other, then you certainly do not want the “good” child in the office when you are signing the Will. Including the child in the procedure allows the excluded child to argue that you were a victim of undue influence.
How Do I Disinherit My Son… from the entire estate.
Also, your question was “how to disinherit my son from my entire estate.” Your Will might not cover all assets in your estate. Review with your Estate Planning Lawyer all your beneficiary designations. You might have named the child you wish to exclude as a recipient on a 401K, a bank account or a life insurance policy. Excluding a child in your Will has no effect on your beneficiary designations. Be thorough. Being meticulous is the only way to make sure your wishes are respected.
Contact our office for a free consultation if you have further questions about excluding a child from your Will, or any other Estate Planning questions.
Wills, Trusts, Probate, and Estate Litigation it’s all we do!
Peter Klenk, Esq.