Think Ahead When Estate Planning and Leaving a Disproportionate Inheritance or Disinheriting a Child

HNW Elder Law, Estate Planning

By Fredrick P. Niemann, a NJ Estate Planning Attorney

The majority of individuals set up their estate plan so that their children are the beneficiaries. They also frequently distribute their assets equally among the children they have. However, more and more people today are adjusting their estate plans to leave more for one child than another. Disproportionate distributions of assets are not always done because a parent no longer gets along with a child. Sometimes, one child may have a lot more children or obligations than another and the parent feels the need to help this child more. Maybe one child is already wealthy while the others are not as successful. There are many reasons why disproportionate distributions and even disinheriting a child are becoming more and more popular.

There are some important basic steps to take when adjusting your estate plan to disinherit a child or to change it to provide disproportionate distributions. The first step involves identifying all of your beneficiaries. You should identify who you want to receive your wealth, who you don’t want to receive your wealth, and how much of your estate you want distributed to the beneficiaries. Next, it is important to document your intent and possibly even the reasons as to why. Disproportionate distributions and disinheritance can often be the source of family conflict if your family members are unaware as to why you did so. Placing a statement in your will or trust that tells them the reason for your disproportionate distribution can avoid ill feelings between siblings and toward you.

It is important to take a few basic steps when you plan a disproportionate distribution of your assets. Taking the time to be clear and concise can help assure accuracy of your wishes and avoid family conflict. If you have any questions regarding your estate plan, please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq., an experienced New Jersey Estate Planning Attorney, toll-free at 888-800-7442 or by email at He is happy to assist you.

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