The cruellest legacy; excluded in a Will by Mum or Dad

A recent article in the Sunday Times spoke of the painful emotional damage inflicted on children whose parents snub them in their Will. This all too common issue, says Rebekah Hillman, causes such deep long-lasting distress that it should only ever be done in the most extreme cases.

The Sunday Times recently published a collection of reader’s letters in response to a story the previous week, about the pain experienced by TV Producer Daisy Goodwin when she was left out of her parent’s Will.

At Hillman Legal Partnerships we see this happen a lot. Indeed it more common than many people might think.

When we are asked to exclude certain siblings from a Will, we do try to make the point that this is a serious issue and one that causes much long-term hurt for the person in question.

The combination of grief at the loss of a parent, mixed with a deep sense of rejection from which there can be no hope of reconciliation, is such a potent mix that anyone considering this needs to be certain that all other avenues have been explored first.

There are many reasons why people do this, from family feuds and distrust of spouses to just plain old fashioned favoritism.

But with the help and advice of a good Will writer there are many other choices you can make to prevent you from having to go down this difficult road.

Trusts exist to allow you greater control of your estate after death.

If you have a child and are worried about their capacity to manage money, or concerned that they could lose your money through an impending divorce, then a trust is a great way to ensure that they can be provided for in a responsible and controlled way.

We have seen that excluding a child from the Estate causes deep trauma and can often lead to the complete breakdown in the relationship between siblings.

While each individual’s circumstances can never be compared, we always try and counsel some sort of solution, whether that is through a Trust as outlined above, by leaving a token percentage to the child in question, or even electing to give money to their favourite charity instead.

Only in the most difficult circumstances should it ever be considered necessary to exclude a child completely from your Will.

Before doing so you have to ask yourself if you really want make inflicting such deep and long lasting emotional distress on your child your final act on Planet Earth; because make no mistake, that is precisely what you are deciding to do.

If you are experiencing these issues yourself it may be useful to discuss them with an experienced Will writer, as it is something we deal with day in day out.

Talk to member of our team today and find out what other options there are. You may be relieved to discover that there is no need to take such drastic action at all.