Should I Cut My Adult Child Out of His Inheritance? Huffington Post

My children have refused to communicate with me for several years and I’m considering cutting them out of my will. Why would I be generous to children who won’t have anything to do with me.

Dear Reader, 

I would certainly sympathize with the impulse to leave them out of your will if they had refused contact for several years. However, if I were going to leave my children with a long-lasting message that would carry on after my death, it would be one of generosity and dedication, despite how unjustly I believed that I was treated by them. Our parents are with us long after they die, and we will be with our children long after we’re gone. Imagine how powerful it would be to give your child his or her inheritance with a letter of love and-without guilt-regret that you couldn’t be closer in your lives together. Also imagine how powerful it would be to acknowledge in your will that he or she must have had his or her reasons to have cut off contact. Now consider the message you send if you leave your child nothing, or only leave the inheritance to the child who remained close to you. There would be damage done to the child left out of the inheritance and there won’t be any satisfaction to you in it. I believe that, as parents, we need to think of how those consequences will play out well after we’re gone. And, it is also possible for children to forgive us after we’re gone for whatever ways that we wronged them, or for whatever ways that they believed that we wronged them. So, I think that leaving your children their inheritance is not only good for them but also for their memory of us.

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15 Comments

  1. Alex
    Posted May 11, 2013 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    If your adult children refuse to communicate with you, you should cut them out of your will.

    There is no legal obligation to support an adult child.

    I don’t know the reasons that your children won’t communicate with you, but this is your money and you should do with it as you see fit. If your children aren’t interested you, they shouldn’t be interested in your money.

    I hope you ignore the touch-feely BS from other posters. I hope you spend every penny on yourself and enjoy it.

  2. ForgivenessHeals
    Posted April 14, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    “Nope” is an answer to the question of “Should I cut my adult child out of his [or her] inheritance?” Why? Reread Dr Joshua Coleman’s explaination again & clearly comprehend this to understand the better decision to make.

  3. Posted February 17, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

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  4. Posted November 25, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    This is a terrible, troubling issue. My ex had BPD. I strongly suspect my daughter does too… but she’s distanced herself from me for 10 years. NO communications! Leaving her $$ from my family (and me) somehow seems wrong.

    From her behavior/attitude towards me, it’s hard to determine if she has compassion, empathy, a sense of fair play, the ability to compromise or forgive. I know I don’t want to show I’ve endorsed her values. And with BPD, my “forgiving her” and showing unconditional love would seem laughable… I’m quite sure she feels she’s done no wrong. And I would be the fool.

    I wish you were available to talk about this.

    • eddieblue
      Posted March 7, 2013 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      Totally agree with you.
      Won’t leave our “bad” child the same amount we will leave our other child.
      I wouldn’t leave the sociopathic child anything but my spouse wants to leave something.
      Think it will be 20%, the rest will go to other child and grandchildren.

      I don’t turn the other cheek after years olf nothing but trouble, lies, deceit, theft, etc.

  5. Sha
    Posted October 15, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    just got home from my son’s wedding in California. I raised him as a single mother after his dad died, when he was only 10 years old. The day before the wedding, he told me that I was the best mother in the world – maybe because I had just deposited $10,000.00 in his bank account (per his request), and ran around doing errands all day, as he asked. The next day, at the very traditional wedding, I was excluded from the official wedding photos. I was told the mother of the groom was not on the schedule, my son confirmed this when I asked him. At the wedding reception, I was seated in the last row, by the kitchen. My son wouldn’t dance with me, and didn’t thank me in his speech, he ignored me. Some members of my family and friends were crying they were so upset – no one could believe it because they know how close I was to my son. What happened? Well Bridezilla didn’t help. A month before the wedding, she sent me the dress she wanted me to wear to the wedding. It looked like something a nun would wear in the 1940’s. Is she controlling? Oh yeah. And my son is not himself anymore. But that is now his problem. I am definitely changing my will because she has control of everything and my son is acting like a wimp, sorry but its true. He will not be executor or have power of attorney anymore because there’s no way she’s going to have the power to pull the plug on me. And I will leave most of my estate to my other son. I think children should be held accountable for their deplorable behavior – even Jesus threw people out of the temple, for heavens sake. I sacrificed everything for my children, never expecting anything in return, but he couldn’t even pull off a front row seat at his wedding? Or one picture with his Mom…give me a break – So he’s out of the will, and I am no longer his bank. I will not fund him anymore – dead or alive. Frankly, I spoiled him rotten and this is the outcome. Hopefully, fending for himself, will make him a nicer person, which will help him much more after I’m gone than money ever could..

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 21, 2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      I can not believe that ,but with what is going on with my own son I can .i feel so sorry for you

  6. Anonymous
    Posted June 27, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    What if my son has made it very clear to me he wants nothing from me – no communication – no gifts – no monetary help of any kind – nothing? I am honoring his wishes now – why wouldn’t I do that in my death?

  7. Mary Ann
    Posted August 26, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    I feel as you do that it’s best not to carry this hurt to the grave but I also think:
    What will they do with your personal things if THEY (EC) are still hating you (guilty or not) at the time of your death? Will they sell them, when you might have given those things to a person who really cared for you?

    Would the money better benefit a charity (you could give the donation in their name)?

    I’m thinking that these EC probably want no reminder of you and that bad behavior should not be rewarded. There are consequences to all actions!

  8. Alison
    Posted April 28, 2010 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    Interesting perspective. And one that I hadn’t considered. Makes a lot of sense. Thank you.

    • Posted October 2, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

      Your website has to be the eelctrnioc Swiss army knife for this topic.

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