The question doesn’t come up all that often, but it does come up from time to time. And it usually goes something like this: “Can I disinherit my child?“ Or, “Can I leave my child out of my will?” For whatever reason, the parent does not want to leave assets to a child, and they want to know how to accomplish that goal. The simple answer is yes, you can easily disinherit a child over the age of 18 in Georgia. You are simply not obligated to provide an inheritance for an adult child. You can write a Will and not leave any asset to the child, thereby disinheriting him or her.
But, know this: if your child is under 18, he or she may claim a year’s support from your estate, to help ensure that they are provided for and not destitute, under Georgia’s year’s support statute. And the minor child may actually receive more than is necessary to support him or her for a year, as determined by the court.
Whenever someone wants to disinherit an adult child, we generally recommend that the Will identify that person as a child, and then have it specifically state that the child is being specifically disinherited. That way it is clear that the parent knew the child was his or hers, and made a thoughtful decision to not leave any assets to such child, and that, for purposes of the Will, such child will be deemed to have predeceased the person making the Will. Depending on the situation we may also recommend having an additional letter spelling out the reasons the child is being disinherited, to be potentially used if there is a contest over the validity of the Will.
In addition to disinheriting a child, know that it is also possible to treat your children differently in your Will. We wrote more about that in this post.
If you want more information about wills and trusts in Georgia, then just visit this page and then request our free guide to estate planning and we’ll email it ut to you right away. Then, when you’re ready to take the next step and get your ducks in a row, call us to discuss your situation. We’re friendly and we won’t bite.
The Beck Law Firm, LLC helps individuals and families with estate planning needs in Georgia. With services including Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Healthcare Directives, and other planning tools, we can work to address your needs. We work with people primarily in the northeast suburbs of Atlanta in Gwinnett County and Walton County, including Lawrenceville, Grayson, Snellville, Dacula, Loganville, Suwanee, Duluth, Lilburn, and other nearby areas. Let us know how we can be of help to you.