This Christmas will have been the straw that broke the camel’s back for some families. Spending more time together than usual can make you realize that you no longer have much love for each other.
It might even prompt you to edit your estate plan to remove someone you had down to inherit. In this case, there are a few precautions to take:
#1. Allow a cooling-off period
While you might be sure that you want to leave your son nothing right now, will you still feel the same in a month when the memories of the fight over the Christmas table have receded? It’s best to avoid any hasty decisions, as people are not always at their best during these holidays.
#2. Consider telling them
If you do not tell someone you wish to disinherit them, it could create problems for other family members when you die. They will be left to bear the wrath of the unhappy, disinherited person. Choosing to explain your motives now reduces the chance of that. It also gives the person an opportunity to reflect on their behavior and perhaps change their ways to the point that you decide you would like to put them back in as a beneficiary.
#3. If you are sure, then put it in writing
Do not just remove their name from the estate plan. They might think you somehow forgot, or at least tell a court that is what happened. Explicitly stating that you wish to leave them nothing makes it clear to a court that you knew what you were doing.
As with any estate planning decision, taking legal guidance is the best.