It is never an easy decision to make, but many Tennessee residents must consider what happens to their assets, their estate and even their family members after they die. If the estate is large and it is anticipated that there will be arguing over who gets what after you die, it is even more important that you specifically state where you want your possessions and money to go, but should you disinherit your child from your will?

According to The Balance, parents can disinherit children in all but one state in the country. Spouses cannot be disinherited unless they agreed to it in a post- or pre-nuptial agreement. While disinheriting may seem like a simple idea if you have a child you are estranged from, the reality is that it can be an emotional, difficult decision to make. There are many things you should consider before you make your final decision.

You should realize that using an inheritance to leverage a child’s behavior is rarely successful. Not only are you trading respect and love for money, but they are likely to go back to the behavior once they have the money and you are gone.

If you are concerned with how your child will spend the money if they receive it all in one lump sum, remember that you have the option of a living trust. This allows you to set conditions on how your child receives the money and requires them to pass guidelines set by you before the money is disbursed. You can also control how old they are when they receive the money through a trust.

If you do determine that disinheriting your child is the right decision for you, it is important to do more than just leave their name out of the will. You should specifically state in your estate plan that they were disinherited on purpose and discourage a will contest after you are gone.

This information is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.