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Don't just leave your child out of your will

You decide that you do not want to leave any of your assets to one of your children. You're cutting them off. As a result, when you draft your will, you just leave them out. That means they won't get anything, right?

This is a dangerous mistake that many people make, and it can actually lead to confusion and even inheritance disputes. You do not want to simply leave the child out of the documentation.

Instead, you should specifically mention them and note that they will not inherit anything from you. This eliminates the confusion. They know that you did not just forget them. You purposefully disinherited them. That can lower the odds of a dispute among your heirs after you pass away.

This may sound malicious, but it doesn't have to be. When listing out your heirs and what they get, just dedicate one short section to the heir you won't leave anything to. Make your desires clear. If you want, take this chance to explain yourself. Maybe you're not leaving them money because you haven't spoken in 10 years. Maybe you just don't think they need it. You can let them, and the rest of your family members, know what decision you made and why you made it.

Please note that this general rule about mentioning someone to whom you'll leave nothing really only applies to children and those who expected to be listed in your estate plan.

Inheritance disputes happen for many reasons, and these types of oversights show how they can happen. All involved must know what legal rights they have.

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Riach Gese Jacobs, PLLC
7331 196th Street, SW
P.O. Box 1067
Lynnwood, WA 98046

Phone: 425-329-7857
Phone: 425-776-3191
Fax: 425-775-0406
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