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To include non contact child in a will?

(33 Posts)
toni74 Mon 19-Jan-15 15:00:41


I'm after some general feedback about whether or not to include an adult child within a will when they maintain no contact with their parent.

Hus and I are finalising our wills (started early last year). During that time dh oldest son has continued to maintain no contact with us and is only in contact for things / info from us.

My hus has been questioning what to do this last year, so I just wondered what others might have done, can we make a provision for it (so a line is drawn underneath it) eg if contact is reestablished there would be a gift if it continues there is no gift. I'm asking as my dh keeps asking but I as it's been dragging out I want to get everything sorted and not have to come back again in a year or so to update or change a will again.

Please any suggestions would be great fully received. Just concerned we have outdated wills (for other non related reasons) confused


titchy Mon 19-Jan-15 15:56:36

My gm's will originally left two thirds to her dd, my dm. When they went NC my gm amended so my dm got half instead. In your dh's position I couldn't just leave a child out, whatever the circumstances.

TeWiSavesTheDay Mon 19-Jan-15 16:00:15

I wouldn't leave out a child because they were nc. Obviously there must be issues but it is a sign if your husband'sunconditional love and care for his child.

toni74 Mon 19-Jan-15 16:05:00

Even if said (adult) child said some pretty hurtful/hateful things and refuses to acknowledge our children? Have to say I'm not sure what I would do but I know my husband is devastated by what was said and what's happened since. Ty for the advice so far

3nationsfamily Mon 19-Jan-15 16:06:41

If you are in Scotland then the child has legal rights over a share of teh estate, whether or not they are included in the will specifically.

BaffledSomeMore Mon 19-Jan-15 16:09:58

I don't think linking it to contact or an apology is a good idea. It smacks of using money to control him. Your dh needs to think about what he wants to do rather than what you want his ds to do.

EBearhug Mon 19-Jan-15 16:21:05

It depends where you are - cutting your child out of your will just isn't possible in some countries.

But in England & Wales, you can leave it to whoever you want. I don't think I could cut a child out, but maybe it would depend on why they were NC. I do know a man (well, I don't, I know his sister,) who didn't inherit the landed estate despite being the eldest son - but he did inherit something. I think that was quite challenging legally to sort out, but I don't know the details - and it won't be relevant to most people.

Hurr1cane Mon 19-Jan-15 16:39:55

I'd not do that. I just couldn't, not to someone I had forced life on.

Coldcuppacoffee Mon 19-Jan-15 16:48:56

Could you leave their share to them with an option for it to be refused and given to charity?

TeWiSavesTheDay Mon 19-Jan-15 16:56:25

That's what unconditional love is.

prh47bridge Mon 19-Jan-15 17:57:16

I have a daughter who has refused contact with me for a number of years. There is absolutely no way I would ever allow that to make any difference to my will. She has said some very hurtful things but I love her unconditionally. She will therefore receive exactly the same inheritance as she would have if she had maintained contact.

Baddz Mon 19-Jan-15 18:01:33

You have every right to dispose of your estate as you see fit.
It's your money.
My mum had to fill a form in before she did her will, and there was one part that asked if any child was to be left out of the will and why.

Ragwort Mon 19-Jan-15 18:12:33

Who is your DH asking confused? Hasn't he got the backbone to make his own decision?

Doesn't he want to leave equal shares to all his children - I would have little respect for someone who cut their own child out of their will, do you really want to be married to someone like that?

Hulababy Mon 19-Jan-15 18:18:53

"eg if contact is reestablished there would be a gift if it continues there is no gift. "

Think this would make things unnecessarily complicated during probate. How would NC be classified, as for how long a time period? you say the DC is in contact f they need info - well, in the legal sense would this then mean there had to contact, so a gift would be made, for example.

A will needs to be very straight and to the point - there can be no ambiguity.

STIDW Mon 19-Jan-15 18:29:14

Although I do have contact with my two adult children I'm with prh47bridge. No matter what they do or say I love both children unconditionally and would never disinherit them.

professornangnang Mon 19-Jan-15 19:41:49

To disinherit a child like that would be absolutely unforgivable.

toni74 Tue 20-Jan-15 09:54:28

Hi all thank you for the feedback, Ill pass this onto my dh (for him to think about)...

FlowerFairy2014 Tue 20-Jan-15 12:22:24

This is really exactly what a lot of men are like once they have a second family. of course the child should be included. The lack of conduct is probably your husband's fault and his conduct anyway and he needs to be kissing the feet of the child and may be doubling the will entitlement not cutting that person off. It just shows how awful the husband is that he is even considering it. The child is well rid of its father.

AMumInScotland Tue 20-Jan-15 12:50:51

I'm pretty sure a lawyer would say it was just storing up problems to try to write in anything about contact, as you would have to define what you meant. Turning up late one night and having a blazing row wouldn't be what you meant, but it would be 'contact' in one sense.

So he has to decide - if he died, would he want this to end up with his eldest child cut out of his will? Is that what he would want his final 'contact' with his child to be? The memory he wanted his child to have of him for ever?

It sounds as if things are 'difficult' between them, but that's not exactly unusual with second families whatever the circumstances.

I'd say his priority ought to be to make 'proper' provision for all of his children. That might take into account the fact that his younger children are still dependants, but I think things would have to be far beyond 'difficult' to cut a child out just because he is having trouble dealing with his father's new relationship.

Runnyhunny Fri 23-Jan-15 16:38:26

I think without knowing the backstory it's impossible to answer. I love my children unconditionally, but if they as adults showed absolutely not a care of what happened to me, despite loving them, I would question that the would want anything of mine, and if they did, why that was.

Ragwort Fri 23-Jan-15 20:18:14

Think about how all siblings might feel about it in the future.

I do a lot of the care for my elderly parents, spend more time with them, actually 'get on better' with them than my siblings but I would hate it if I was left more than they received, my DM has 'hinted' that it's not fair that I do so much but that is my choice but when the time comes to 'share out' the inheritance I have made it absolutely clear to my DPs that they should split it equally between all of us. (We do speak quite frankly about that sort of thing smile).

DayLillie Fri 23-Jan-15 20:49:18

My grandmother did this to my uncle, despite my protestations.

It just set their rift in stone and carried it on to the next generation between him and his sister.

Then he did it to his daughter and that was another generation........

It was only a couple of thousand, and not worth it IMHO. There is no way I would do it.

LynetteScavo Fri 23-Jan-15 20:54:17

FIL has said he hasn't written SIL into his will. I have told DH anything he inherits under such circumstances must be split with SIL even though she is an odious old cowbag

And yes, I think all children should be included fairly in a will. I can see there might be an exception if the child had a drug or gambling problem.

LynetteScavo Fri 23-Jan-15 20:55:06 which case I would leave a letter explaining my actions.

Haffdonga Fri 23-Jan-15 21:14:16

I agree. Inheritance should not be based on contact. An inheritance or being cut out of a will is for ever. Once happened it is unchangeable for all of time. Non contact and bad feeling can be a temporary situation. It takes two to make or break a father/son relationship but that father is always a father contact or no.

What a horrible thought for your dh to leave behind himself a situation of hurt, bitterness and acrimony between his children. He would surely cause a permanent rift with never any chance of reconciliation. Is that really what he'd want?

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