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The problems with disinheritance

A sentiment especially true for siblings, most families prefer to think that all those years of heated disputes have long been forgotten in the past. After all, the majority of sibling wars end eventually. One stage of life that can reignite contention, however, involves the will of a loved one. What can Kentucky residents do when family members do not see eye to eye? Perhaps even more stressful, what can residents do when a family member becomes disinherited? 

One New York Times piece reflects on this potentially tricky situation that can leave families disjointed and lost in a sea of emotions. Highlighting the story of one college student who was dismayed to find that her grandmother's will left her disinherited, The Times goes on to state that the young woman traced the root of the problem to her aunts, who had coordinated a deathbed disinheritance. Her grandmother had suffered from Alzheimer's disease, and the family members had taken advantage of her diminished capacity. While rare in most countries, a disinheritance is a serious move that can come with equally serious repercussions; as for the specific situation on which The Times focuses, the college student and her siblings worked through a legal battle for 18 months. 

Many families grapple with the will a loved one leaves behind. The American Association of Individual Investors lists a number of ways families can prevent will conflicts, advising readers to do the following:

  • Update estate plans regularly
  • Fund trusts correctly
  • Arrange funeral details early 
  • Consider the needs of second spouses and children

When it comes to disinheriting family members, the AAII urges its audience to only turn to this option as a last resort. Showing favoritism is usually an invitation to disorder, and can even permanently ruin familial bonds. And while there are differing views on giving children varying amounts according to the salaries they make, the AAII stresses that families should strive for as much balance as possible. 






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