Hot Springs Village, AR asked in Estate Planning for Arkansas

Q: RE: Living Trust. Is there any recourse for a son not mentioned in inheritance. Must ALL kids be named?

One of my 2 sons has no contact with me, no one in family even has his phone number or address. I loaned him $ a few years ago and never received repayment. I figured that would be his share, so the rest is distributed equally, 25% for the four kids. He isn't named. Now I'm wondering if he would be able to cause trouble or hold things up contesting the distribution if he isn't specifically named in the Living Trust.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Howell, MI

A: ANYONE with a couple hundred dollars can sue if they feel aggrieved. YOUR job would be to eliminate as many possible arguments as possible. By failing to name someone who would otherwise inherit you've opened up an argument for him. He could say 'well mom/dad was getting old and they just FORGOT about me' or something similar. I ALWAYS name all the children even if they are inheriting nothing.

The attorney who drafted the trust should have been aware of this too. You DID have an attorney draft the trust right? If you tried to 'do this yourself' this may not be the only problem you overlooked!

Take the trust you have to a REAL estate planning attorney (not one of the 'one trick ponies' who give 'free' dinner seminars and then try to sell you an expensive trust you might not need!) to review and determine what if any changes need to be made.

-- This answer is offered for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney/client relationship.

I am licensed to practice in Michigan only. Please seek competent local legal help if you feel you need legal advice

Brandon M Haubert
Brandon M Haubert
  • North Little Rock, AR
  • Licensed in Arkansas

A: In Arkansas a child not named can be deemed to be forgotten, not disinherited. The best practice is to name all your children and specifically disinherit the one you wish to. You can do this by stating you are disinheriting the child or leaving them your love and affection.

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