Have you considered leaving your child or one of your children out of the property distribution in your Will? You are not alone. Our office deals with this question on a regular basis.
Can you leave your child out of your Will? This would depend in large part on whether the child is a minor or an adult child who can’t earn a living because of disability. In Alberta, the law states that you must support minor children in your Will. In addition to minor children, you must also support your children who are not able-bodied. A disability can be everything from mental health issues and physical disabilities to drug additions. These children are considered to be financial dependents of the parent and by law, cannot be left out of your Will.
If you leave them out of your Will there is a significant risk that your Will could be contested when you die and that the Public Trustee steps in to make sure these children are taken care of.
There is no legal requirement to support adult children who do not have a disability. Normally when our office encounters a parent who wants to write their child out of their Will this is because the parent and child are estranged or because the parent has given the child quite a bit of financial help already. We also see where a parent has left an insurance policy or other property directly to that child and therefore would like their estate to go to other beneficiaries.
We understand that this can be a difficult situation for parents to deal with. If you are considering leaving one or more of your children out of your Will, contact our office to discuss the legal ramifications of this action. Our Estate Lawyers can provide you with guidance. Our goal is to help you leave solutions and not problems for your loved ones!