Men (and sometimes women) often disinherit children they love and adore. The truly sad thing is often, they are completely unaware that their actions have had the effect of taking away the inheritance rightly belonging to their children. Disinheriting children is a common thing in America, today. The State of Indiana has a slew of parents who have disinherited their children unintentionally. Lake County Indiana has a disproportionate share of fathers and mothers who are routinely disinheriting children they raised, lying on their death beds, expecting that those children would one day inherit the wealth they accumulated in their life.
Disinheriting Children: How it Happens
A man marries, has children, works many years, buys a house, accumulates some stocks, bonds, perhaps an IRA and a retirement. Then, his wife dies. For a few years, he muddles about the house, then one day, he meets a woman who brings meaning back into his life. He remarries. It’s clearly a union that is good for the both of them. She is needy in many ways. She is relatively poor in the goods of this world, living on Social Security that is inadequate to make ends meet. She finds in this man security, and she truly enjoys his company. They are both in love. For the both of them, they are the cure for each others’ loneliness.
Then, a few years later, the man dies.
Disinheriting Children by Default
And suddenly, the children discover that this woman now has acquired everything Dad worked and sweated for all his life. But, even worse, a few years later the woman dies. Now, the father’s children learn that her family, strangers to them all, have inherited everything. The man’s children are disinherited by default. The words “Disinheriting Children” now becomes an ugly term for them.
Father, by not making the right estate planning decisions (essentially, by not doing anything), disinherited his own children. Those who should have inherited his estate, have lost it all and strangers now enjoy the fruits of his life of labor that ordinarily would have gone to his own flesh and blood.
If you remarried, are you disinheriting children you love?
If you’re a widow or a widower reading this, or you’re a child of a widower (or widow) reading this, make an immediate appointment with an attorney in order to make sure this does not happen to you and you and your family. If you have remarried, have you considered what impact that remarriage will have on your family when you die? Where will your money, your assets, go? If everything goes to your spouse, where does his or her assets go when that spouse dies?
There is a very good possibility that by remarrying, you are disinheriting your children, unintentionally. It is not enough that your spouse says he or she will take care of them. Realize that the laws governing inheritances will come into play, and if you have not made correct provisions for your children, then you will be disinheriting children whom you have loved and adored and helped raise and nurture.