In Illinois, the process of planning for your estate after you die is an important one. You can never know when death is coming and caring for your spouse, children and other beneficiaries should be at the top of your list. Unfortunately, there are times when a parent is struggling with a child and concerned about them receiving their part of the estate. In this situation, is it a good idea to disinherit the child?

One thing to remember as you consider disinheriting your child is that this is not a way to control their behavior. If you are unhappy with the way they are living their life, an inheritance should not be used to change that. It is likely that once they receive the money they will go right back to their previous ways and doing this can cause serious friction and tension between family members.

According to Forbes Magazine, what might be a better alternative to disinheriting a child is to place the child’s inheritance in a living trust. With a trust, the money and assets are disbursed in a specific way determined by you before you die. A trust is like an inheritance with a few strings attached. Some incentives you may include in the trust are finishing college, staying free from drugs and alcohol and working full time.

If you do make the decision to disinherit a child or relative, it is not enough to simply leave their name off your estate plan. You will want to specifically point out that they are being disinherited and why, so there are no questions about your assets after your death. This information should be updated in your estate plan regularly.

This information is intended for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.