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Do I Have to Include My Children in My Will?

April 12, 2021

Sometimes, parents wonder whether they are legally obligated to include their children in their wills. Every family is different, and no situation is exactly the same. Therefore, no will is exactly the same. Some parents may include all their children in their will, some of the children but not others, or none of the children. Additionally, you do not have to allocate your assets to your children equally. What you do with your estate is up to you, but there are a few stipulations to consider. Read on to learn more about excluding your children from your will.

Do I Have to Include My Children in My Will?

No. If your children are of age, you do not have to include them in your will. If you do not wish to include your children in your will, you do have to exclude them. It will not be enough to simply fail to leave them anything. Instead, it is important to state that you are not leaving them anything and it may be useful to provide a reason for the exclusion. This is because if you do not mention your children and you provide no explanation, they may attempt to contest the will. In some cases, they may be able to argue that you forgot to include them or that you were not of sound mind when you excluded them. To make sure your will is legally sound, you should enlist the help of an experienced estate planning attorney.

It is also important to note that if your children are underage at the time of your passing, you will still have to provide for them, for example, funding their education.

Can I Modify My Will?

Yes. If you included your children in your will and wish to exclude them, or you excluded them but wish to write them back in, you should contact an estate planning attorney to help you modify your will.

We understand that circumstances change, and it is important that your wishes reflect these circumstances. If matters in your life change, you should be able to address that in your will. If you have any questions about creating a will, excluding your children from your will, or planning for your estate, contact us today.

Contact Our Experienced New Jersey Firm

Juan C. Velasco, Esq. is a trusted attorney who concentrates on bankruptcy, family law, real estate, and estate matters who has been serving the New Jersey area for over 20 years. That is why we are confident we have what it takes to provide you with the effective legal counsel you need. If you need experienced legal counsel, please contact Velasco Law Office and we will be happy to assist you.