Does Florida Law Allow Parents to Disinherit Their Children?

Does Florida Law Allow Parents to Disinherit Their Children?

While many people create a will to ensure that their property passes to their children, not all families wish to do so. Under Florida law, it is possible to prevent a child or anyone else from inheriting property or assets from your estate.

Traditionally, people have tried to find creative solutions to make sure that their children were properly disinherited such as leaving the child a small amount, typically $1. Alternatively, people would leave their child out of the will entirely without even mentioning them. However, under Florida law, those actions may lead to problems in the administration of your estate or a court to decide that a child was accidentally or improperly excluded from the will, leading the court to award the child a portion of your estate anyway.

To ensure that your wishes are clearly stated, a better option is to explicitly state that you have chosen to leave your child out of the will. This leaves no room for ambiguity about how much they should get or what you intended.

There are many reasons why parents choose to disinherit children. Some are personal — parents may have become estranged from their child over time and see no reason to give their estate to that child. In other cases, a parent might disapprove of a child’s lifestyle and decide not to contribute to it in any way.

Some reasons are based on pragmatism rather than conflict. A child with a health problem, an addiction or an inability to care for themselves may be better served by putting money into a trust for them and naming a trustee to make sure the money is used to care for the child. This allows the parent to direct what the money is used for, ensuring that essentials such as healthcare and education are paid.

To learn more about the process of disinheriting a child or creating a trust to ensure they are cared for, speak with a skilled Tampa will and trust attorney at BaumannKangas Estate Law.