Cutting Your Kid Sister Out of Mom's Will?
By: Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, JD
How family members cut others out of a will, the problems with doing so, and the tragedies it creates, are tremendous. Sadly, these are not rare events. It is a human story, not a technical legal discussion.
This is a similar issue to the Brook Astor case, but affects so many people all the time. The stories are so similar. Here's a recent one. A mother left her estate equally to her 3 children. A few years before she passed away, she resigned her will leaving her assets equally to two children and leaving the third child $25,000, a nominal portion of the estate. Just to prove their vindictiveness the two siblings intentionally did not inform their now disinherited sibling about their mother's death.
Why do parents and others change in the last few years? How do they allocate assets often, as if they were almost oblivious to the years or even decades during which they wanted to treat their heirs equally?
These acts, not only create financial havoc, but often the legal costs exceed the amounts in question.
These acts destroy family relationships forever, and embroil all involved in difficult emotional battles.
There are better ways.
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