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Do you have to include children in your will?

| Dec 11, 2020 | Estate Planning |

As you write your will in California, some people might tell you that you should include all your children as beneficiaries. However, including all your children isn’t always in their best interests. Maybe you have a child who’s irresponsible and can’t be trusted with a large sum of money. Do you have to include every child in your will?

When should you leave your children out of your will?

Contrary to popular belief, you’re not obligated by law to include your children in your will. During the estate planning process, you’re free to leave out one child, include only one child or leave out all of them. You can even donate your entire estate to charity and leave nothing to your relatives.

If your children can be trusted with money, you might like to leave them a large inheritance. However, you might have one child who’s estranged from the family. Maybe you don’t want to include them in your will, feeling that they don’t deserve it, or maybe you just don’t trust them with a sudden windfall of cash. Whatever the case, you have the legal right to leave them out of your will.

You can also change your mind at any time and revise your will to include the child that you disinherited. However, it’s sometimes in the child’s best interest to not leave them a large amount of money. Ultimately, it’s your decision.

How can you make sure that you’re writing an iron-clad will?

Once you’re gone, you won’t be able to make changes or address issues from beyond the grave. You need to write an airtight will now to make sure your beneficiaries are protected. An attorney may help you write a strong, decisive will that meets your family’s needs.