How to Disinherit My Children in New Jersey
Disinheriting a child can be a difficult decision, but it is often necessary. Thankfully, the state of New Jersey allows you to disinherit your children if you follow a few relatively simple steps. Disinheriting children can cause a lot of tension and infighting within a family after someone has passed, so make sure you have put some thought into it. Here are the basic guidelines for going through with the disinheriting process:
New Jersey law has something called Section 3B:5-16 in its statutes. This statute entitles children a share of their deceased parents’ estate when their parents either omit them from their will, or they do not have a will at all.
This means you cannot simply ignore your children in order to leave them out of the will. Instead, you actually have to explicitly say that you are leaving them out of the will. You do not have to state the reason, only that you are intentionally doing it. This removes any doubt in regards to the interpretation of your will after your death.
How to Phrase Your Wish to Disinherit Your Child
There are many ways to write your wish to disinherit your child within your will. It could be something short and sweet like: “I have intentionally not included any provision for my second eldest daughter, Jane Doe.”
Whether or not you decide to include a reason as to why you are disinheriting your child is up to you, but if you do include one, it should be bulletproof. If you include a reason that could easily be debated or proven wrong, your child could use it to challenge your will after your death. So if in doubt, do not include a reason.
So How do I Disinherit My Child?
The first step towards disinheriting a child from your will is to create a will in the first place. If you do not have one yet, be prepared to create one with four main components in mind:
- The will itself, which clearly outlines all your specific requests about what to do with each of your assets following your death. This is where you have to clearly state your intention to exclude your child from the will.
- A power of attorney, who will be the person in charge of your financial affairs, either after your passing or while you are still alive but unable to do it yourself because of a debilitating medical condition.
- A living will, which is a set of instructions on how to deal with a medical crisis should you experience one that incapacitates you, leaving you unable to speak.
- A trust, which will hold your assets in a bundle for a given amount of time before distributing them to recipients at certain points.
Once your will is completed, you can update it whenever you want. There are no restrictions on updating a will, but when you do, you will be required to fill out an amendment document known as a codicil. The codicil has to be witnessed, dated, and kept alongside the will.
Getting Legal Help
If you need assistance in disinheriting a child, reach out to Giro, LLP, child support Attorneys at Law today. We will help you take control of your estate and make sure it does not fall into the wrong hands.