Eureka, CA asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California

Q: Can a person with multiple children decide to just leave their money to their favorite children?

Is this common to only designate a few heirs or do courts often step in?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Julie King
Julie King
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Monterey, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: People have the right to do what they want with the property they own. You have that same right. As a result, if you want to leave all your money to a charity and none to your family, you can do that. If you want to leave money to some relatives and not others, you can. No one can force you to leave money to all of your family members if you don't want to do so. While most people choose to leave their money to all of their children, there are some people who decide to cut out a child or children for personal reasons. A court will not, on its own accord, step into a situation. Someone would have to file a claim with the court and ask it to intervene. Whether an heir who brings such a claim will win depends on the language in the trust or will, and the circumstances surrounding the drafting and signing of the trust/will. I hope that helps!

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