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Is There Any Way a Disinherited Child Could Receive an Inheritance from an Estate?

On Behalf of | Mar 23, 2018 | Estate Planning

In Iowa, a parent is allowed to disinherit a child from his or her estate. There are no restrictions in Iowa and an individual in Council Bluffs has every right to disinherit a child.

Of course, this decision should only be made after careful consideration of several different factors, but once made, an individual expects it to be final. To ensure the desire to disinherit is respected after death, an individual truly needs excellent estate planning.

A disinherited child may feel upset or angry over the situation. It can augment rifts or disputes that occurred while the testator was alive. Without the right arrangement for distribution of the assets and clarity in the estate planning documents, an expensive will contest by the child could result.

Considerations Before Disinheriting a Child

Disinheritance requires consideration of the effects and consequences. For example, give consideration to the motivations behind disinheritance of a child. As well, the effect disinheritance could have on other siblings in the family and the family dynamic after the testator dies should be considered.

Also, a person should determine if there is a better way to distribute the assets, which would have less dire effects. For example, if an heir is immature or untrustworthy, placing the assets in trust might be a good solution. These options can be discussed with an estate planning attorney in Council Bluffs, who can assess the best way to reach a desired result, whether that is through disinheritance or other estate planning tools.

Preventing a Disinherited Child from Winning a Will Contest

A testator that wants to disinherit a child should take certain steps in a will or other estate planning document to be certain this desire is effectuated. In Iowa, the courts try to uphold the wishes of the testator.  These wishes and intentions should be clear. At times, simply omitting a child’s name from the will does not provide enough clarity to the court. Through a will contest, the disinherited child can argue the disinheritance was because of undue influence or lack of mental capacity.

Therefore, a testator should be absolutely clear when disinheriting a child. He or she should usually state the specific reason for disinheritance. A single sentence is sufficient, but it should provide a logical, discernable reason for disinheriting a child.

Ensure Your Wishes are Carried Out

What happens to assets and personal property after death is an extremely important matter for most people. Not only do you want to guarantee certain people receive specific property or a specific portion of your estate, but you may have important reasons for keeping property from others. Estate planning with a Council Bluffs attorney, such as Jack Ruesch at Telpner Peterson Law Firm, can ensure your estate is properly planned and your wishes carried out after death. To schedule an initial consultation and discuss your estate planning needs, call our office at 712-309-3738.