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Phone: 201-345-3018

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Alternatives to disinheriting children

New Jersey residents who are unhappy with their children may end up leaving them out of their will. This can cause a rift to form in families and lead to lawsuits, dragging out the probate process. While it is up to an individual to determine who gets what once they pass on, it may be a good idea for people to really think about the impact disinheriting a family member will have.

A bad relationship is not the only reason that someone may be left out of a will. Some parents leave most or all of their assets to a child that has not been as financially successful. However, if one of their children's situation changes after someone's death, they could end up cutting out a child they would have preferred to help out. The good news is there are ways to work around these issues, one of which is referred to as a "sprinkle trust." These trusts involve a financial institution making periodic assessments of each heir's financial situation.

Another option for parents who do not want to leave money to children with drug, gambling or other problems is to create a trust that requires the person in question to meet certain criteria to be given assets. This may involve drug testing, rehab or other requirements related to the issues they face. Until someone's heir meets these requirements, they will not benefit from their inheritance.

Few individuals want probate litigation to linger once they have passed away. In addition to ensuring that legal documents are in order, having a probate attorney advising an executor and assisting them in distributing assets may speed up the process. This may help heirs gain access to inherited property they are the beneficiary of more quickly.

Source: Bloomberg, "You Want to Cut Your Kid Out of Your Will. Or Do You? ", Lewis Braham, July 23, 2013

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