Many people have accidentally disinherited their children. Accidental disinheritance can be avoided with the use of proper estate plan techniques. Take a look at 3 examples of how you may accidentally disinherit your children. Its important to work with a qualified estate planning attorney to ensure that you have a proper plan in place.
Example #1: You leave everything to your spouse.
This example is more common than you might think. While its beneficial to have a plan in place, it may not be wise to leave all of your assets to your spouse, outright. This will mean that everything will go to your spouse and he or she will have full control over how the assets are used.
Giving assets outright to a spouse becomes a problem when that spouse gets remarried and puts assets in joint names with a new spouse. It is also a problem if your spouse is not the parent of all of your children.
Such may mean that your children do not receive the assets that you originally intended them to receive. Talk with your estate planning attorney before deciding to leave everything to your spouse.
Example #2: You never create an estate plan.
Many people never get around to planning. If there is no will, state laws will decide how affairs are handled. If you and your spouse dont have a plan, when you die your assets will be distributed based on your states laws. Some state laws dictate that all or some of the assets are given to the spouse. When you die, your assets will be given to your spouse. If your spouse chooses to remarry, and then dies before his or her new spouse, there is no guarantee that your children will ever be given anything.
Example #3: Youre a blended family.
This example is very similar to the above. If you choose to re-marry and you and your new spouse both have children from a previous marriage, it is unwise to leave everything to each other. This leaves no guarantees that both of your children from previous marriage will be given anything at all.
Think carefully before deciding how you will leave your assets to your loved one. Talk with your estate planning attorney about all of your options before creating your estate plan.