Positive Reasons for Disinheriting a Child

  • Posted on: Oct 23 2020
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The concept of disinheriting a child is one that commonly conjures up feelings of parental disapproval and broken relationships. However, while these are reasons for disinheritance, they aren’t the only ones. Sometimes there are positive reasons as to why a parent would disinherit his or her child.

The Child is Financially Secure Enough

When parents have more than one child, they may look at one child and decide that they are much more financially well off than another child and therefore don’t need the money. This may happen when one child is highly successful, while the other is not. When one child has a lot of money, a parent may feel as though he or she doesn’t really need the inheritance and will instead leave it to one who does. 

While well-intended, this decision often leads to resentment and hurt feelings – especially when not thoroughly explained to the child. By having a conversation with the child, the parent can at the very least explain his or her reasoning for the decision and reassure the child that it is not a matter of favoritism or a lack of love for them. 

An Inheritance Could Disrupt the Child’s Income-Based Benefits


A parent may also choose to disinherit his or her child if they believe that leaving them an inheritance would disqualify them from receiving income-based government benefits. If the child is dealing with bankruptcy or divorce the parent may also disinherit the child so as not to negatively impact their current situation. In such a case, the parent may elect to leave the child’s inheritance to one of his or her brothers or sisters. But although a good idea in theory, leaving one child’s inheritance in the hands of another can make for a bad situation. 

When you leave money for one child in the hands of another, there is nothing to prevent the first child from keeping the money rather than giving it to their sibling as requested. Therefore, instead of leaving the money to a sibling, the parent may choose to create a trust for the child’s benefit, naming a professional trustee (instead of a sibling) who will give the assets to the child when it’s the appropriate time. 

The Law Offices of Brian L. Fox, APLC Help those in Need of the Proper Comprehensive Estate Plan

If you are considering an estate plan, which would be highly recommended, or wanting to set up a mechanism through which your children can inherit, it is helpful to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced Virginia Estate Planning Attorney.

At the Law Offices of Brian L. Fox, APLC, we know how important it is to protect what – and whom – you care about. We will help you to build an estate plan that meets your needs and keeps you and your loved ones protected. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

Posted in: Estate Planning