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Exploring the Complexities of Disinheritance and Children in Georgia

Posted by Joel Beck | Aug 30, 2023 | 0 Comments

Disinheritance refers to the act of intentionally excluding someone, usually an heir such as a child, from receiving a portion or all of an individual's estate after their passing. People have various reasons to disinherit a child; it could be due to estrangement, belief that the child is financially stable, or other personal reasons. It's crucial to understand the laws surrounding disinheritance in Georgia to make sure your estate plan reflects your intentions accurately.

In Georgia, there is no legal obligation to leave property or assets to your children upon your death. Georgia law permits the disinheritance of children provided it's done properly in a will or other estate planning document. Incorrectly or inadequately mentioning disinheritance can lead to potential confusion or even disputes after your death.

Careful Estate Planning is Key

To avoid any ambiguity and ensure your wishes are followed, a clear, detailed, and precise estate plan is necessary. When disinheriting a child, it's important to expressly state this intention in your will or trust. Simply omitting their name may not be sufficient; the court may interpret this as an oversight rather than an intentional disinheritance.

However, it's worth noting that disinheritance can sometimes lead to family disputes and legal battles. To mitigate this risk, consider discussing your decision with your family ahead of time or including a personal statement in your estate planning documents explaining the reasons behind your decision. Remember, clarity in your documents can help reduce the likelihood of a dispute.

Considering the Potential Impact on Minors

It's essential to consider the potential ramifications of disinheritance on minor children. In Georgia, laws are put in place to safeguard the welfare of minor children, especially in scenarios where they could be left without financial support. When a parent dies, Georgia law provides for a process called a "year's support" that can be claimed for each minor child. These provisions help ensure minor children are not left destitute. A year's support refers to a specific allotment from the estate intended to provide for the child's needs for one year following the parent's death. 

These protections may take precedence over the terms of a will, if a year's support may be more than what was left to the minor via a will. And, even if a minor child has been disinherited in a will, they may still be eligible for a year's support. Disinheritance of a minor child, whether intentional or not, can have a significant impact. It can affect the child's financial stability, emotional well-being, and future opportunities. Additionally, if not correctly addressed in an estate plan, it can lead to complicated legal issues and family disputes. It's important to weigh these potential outcomes when making estate planning decisions.

Contact Peach State Wills & Trusts

Navigating the intricacies of estate planning and disinheritance can be complex and emotionally challenging. That's where we, at Peach State Wills & Trusts, can help. We understand the sensitivity of such decisions and aim to provide compassionate, knowledgeable guidance to help you craft an estate plan that reflects your wishes while considering the welfare of all involved. Contact Peach State Wills & Trusts at 678-344-5342 to learn how to plan for disinheritance in Georgia today.

If you have any questions about estate planning in Georgia, you can download our free guide here, no strings attached.

About the Author

Joel Beck

Joel Beck founded The Beck Law Firm, LLC in 2007. His firm focused on business law and estate planning needs of clients, two areas that he was drawn to based upon personal and business experiences in his life, including a ten-year career at NASD (now known as FINRA).


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