Kennedy Law Associates
COVID-19 UPDATE: Kennedy Law Associates remains open to serve the legal needs of our clients, and for consultations with potential clients, safely via teleconferences, Skype, or Facetime. Let’s all stay healthy and safe.

Alternatives to disinheriting a child

The decision to disinherit your child is not one that should be made lightly. On the contrary, doing so may have permanent and considerable consequences, so it is important that you carefully weigh the pros and cons of disinheritance before making the official decision to move forward.

Maybe you want to disinherit your child because he or she is estranged from you or addicted to drugs and you fear your hard-earned money will be squandered away. Maybe your child has special needs and you fear any inheritance you leave may affect his or her ability to secure certain government benefits. Regardless of your reasoning for considering disinheriting your child, you may, too, want to consider the following alternative options before doing so:

Establishing a trust with specific conditions

A trust is a legally binding document you can create that would allow for your assets to be distributed in accordance with your wishes by a trusted third party, known as a trustee. A trust offers a variety of benefits, and one of them is a considerable amount of flexibility. For example, if you are concerned about an inheritance getting blown on drugs, gambling or what have you, you can make an inheritance conditional by seeing that your funds are only allocated when specific conditions are met. You may require that your child stay clean for a predetermined amount of time, or that he or she successfully complete a rehabilitation program before funds can be allocated. Note, however, that the conditions dictated in the trust cannot infringe upon your son or daughter's protected rights, meaning the trust cannot, for example, insist that a beneficiary follow a certain religion or lifestyle.

Giving a trusted family member or friend power of appointment

Giving a trusted friend or family member, such as a spouse or reliable adult child, power of appointment gives them the ability to re-inherit a child you may choose to disinherit, should the need arise after your passing. For example, using the drug addict example, maybe you choose to disinherit your child because of addiction, but he or she then gets clean and stays clean five or 10 years after you pass on. The person you gave power of appointment can make the call as to whether your child should again be listed as a beneficiary based on discussions the two of you had prior to your death. Should you decide to go this route, however, try and make sure the person who is being given power of appointment is also someone who is going to outlive you.

The decision to disinherit a child is a serious one, and it often has far-reaching implications. To discuss your specific situation, consider getting in touch with an attorney.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Contact Us

Tell Us Your Story

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

In Your Neighborhood

Are quality legal services available in your Charlotte neighborhood? Yes, our offices are located in Ballantyne, so you do not need to fight traffic driving uptown or deal with the inconvenience of paid parking decks. We are just minutes from the Ballantyne Corporate Park right off of I-485. An initial domestic consultation with Kennedy Law Associates is a positive step toward creating a roadmap to a better future.

14835 Ballantyne Village Way, Suite 225
Charlotte, NC 28277

Phone: 704-512-0619
Phone: 704-369-5600
Get Directions