Many estate plans fall into the “I love you” estate plan. This isn’t always how it goes, but it’s the rule rather than the exception, according to nwi.com’s article “Estate Planning: Excluding a loved one from the plan.”
The exceptions are mainly because the family dynamic requires it. For instance, the person is not married or doesn’t have children. However, sometimes even a regular old-fashioned “Mom and Dad and Brother and Sister” family has a reason why one or more of the kids are left out of the will.
If someone needs to be excluded, for whatever reason, your estate planning attorney will create a will that accomplishes this. Some people think that instead of excluding someone entirely, they should leave something small, or that they are required to leave something, and the best solution is to leave $1. That’s not true and could lead to problems with settling the estate.
The person who is most problematic to exclude from your estate, is your spouse. They have certain legal rights that are not easily overcome.
Another common question concerns the “no contest” term. These clauses provide that if anyone challenges the will, there is a penalty. Some states do not recognize this clause, so there’s no point to using it. Your estate planning attorney will know the laws for your state and be able to advise you about whether you can use this to exclude someone from your will.
The bottom line: your will should reflect your wishes and accomplish your goals. If a family member has a problem, such as a substance abuse problem or is not able to manage money, an estate planning attorney can work with you to either exclude them from your will, create a trust with guidelines (i.e., requirements to be engaged in a rehab program or be gainfully employed) or distribute your assets at certain periods of time.
Speak with a Cincinnati estate planning attorney to discuss your family’s situation. The attorney has heard and seen pretty much every family situation and will be able to prepare an estate plan that will help your family, while you are living and when you have passed.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your estate plan or when probating an estate or administering a trust, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage a Cincinnati estate planning attorney.
For more information about estate planning, probate or trust administration in Cincinnati (and throughout the rest of Southwest Ohio) and to review free resources regarding estate planning, probate or trust administration, visit my website. If you have questions regarding this article or a particular legal matter, feel free to contact me at 513-399-PLAN (7526).
Resource: nwi.com (Aug. 5, 2018) “Estate Planning: Excluding a loved one from the plan”