How to exclude a child from your will?

Given that the law of England & Wales permits freedom of testamentary disposition it is possible to exclude a child from your will.

However, a disinherited child may contest your will under the 1975 Act claiming that you have not made reasonable financial provision for them. It is likely that he or she will retain a solicitor to challenge your will. For this reason, it is very important that you seek legal advice from an expert solicitor if you are considering disinheriting your child.

To exclude a child from your will:

  • Make sure that you write a valid will
  • Keep it updated as it is more difficult to challenge a recent will
  • Clearly state your reasons for disinheriting your child. Make sure that your reasons are wholly accurate. By way of example, if you state that your child has not visited you in the last five years and your child is able to prove otherwise, he or she may be successful in contesting the will. They may allege that lies about you were told to them or that you were not mentally sound when writing the will.
  • Leave a trail of evidence in support of your decision. For example, you could record your reasons for disinheriting your child in your diary or in a separate letter and you could inform a close friend of your decision. This can later be produced as evidence in Court if your will is challenged.

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