Estate Planning “When You Hate Your Son-In-Law”
As attorneys who regularly practice in the area of estate planning and probate, we frequently assist clients who have concerns about which family members are going to be privy to their estate. Specifically, there are a number of families that have concerns about certain family members—such as in-laws—and they will sometimes seek counsel from attorneys like ourselves on how to ensure that these in-laws do not take advantage of an inheritance they plan to leave to their child or other relatives.
Disinheritance of Your Child Is a Serious Decision That Should Be Weighed Carefully, If At All
State law defers to your children inheriting your assets if there is no surviving spouse. Still, there are parents who purposely exclude their children from their estate plan simply because they are concerned about their spouses. However, any decision to disinherit one that should be weighed very seriously, as rarely does a last will and testament provide the testator with the chance to explain themselves, and decisions like these can lead to generations of pain.
In addition, there are a number of alternatives to disinheritance, such as holding a beneficiary’s share in a trust so that no one else has access to those assets, including in the event of divorce. A trust is a good way to protect these assets and funds from being commingled with marital funds as well, which can cost the general protection that inheritance usually receives.
Another alternative option is to create a bequest and leave those funds to one’s grandchildren, although this is typically only an option if the funds are not too significant, and also carries with it the risk of causing some insult to immediate children. This tension can be created between your children and grandchildren, as well as between siblings if the bequest is given to that sibling in trust with the power of appointment.
You can also simply just divide your estate in unequal shares in order to get around your in-law problem, however, that too could lead to animosity between siblings.
Your Estate Planning Attorney Is There To Assist You
Ultimately, we often find ourselves telling clients that you probably do not want your last will and testament to serve as a “lesson” to your child for their poor choices in a spouse. Not only can that cause emotional turmoil in the family, but it can also often lead to lawsuits. Remember that, regardless of how frustrating your in-law is, you have other options, and those options can be discussed with you, at length, with your estate planning attorney, whose purpose it is to help you overcome and move past these issues with as little drama as possible. Contact our Orlando estate planning attorneys at Gierach and Gierach, P.A. today to find out more about your options.