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Disinheritance and contesting a will

Most Ohio residents have likely heard sayings related to the fact that you can't choose your family. In many cases, family members don't see eye to eye or even get along. Differences in opinions, politics and world views can cause familial rifts that are difficult to repair or traverse. This seems especially true when such conflicts are between a parent and child.

As children grow, they test boundaries. As a rambunctious child grows into a rebellious teen, some parents are at a loss for how to relate to or deal with a child who is forming independent ideas and opinions that may be at odds with their own deeply held viewpoints. In some cases, the relationship between a parent and child is never mended, even upon a parent's death.

One 46-year-old woman recently spoke out about the stormy relationship with her father. The woman, who is gay, fought with her conservative father for years and engaged in many heated exchanges and arguments. The two eventually made amends, but hard feelings persist today as, upon her father's death, the woman learned she had been left out of his will.

Disputes over inheritance matters are common amongst family members, particularly when a son or daughter had a strained relationship with a mother or father. In many cases, however, the decision to omit or disinherit a son or daughter is made in haste or even coerced by others who stand to personally profit. 

Individuals who believe a will is not valid or does not relay a loved one's true intentions would be wise to consult with an attorney. In many cases, taking legal action to formally contest a will or trust is an appropriate means to helping ensure the true wishes of a loved one are carried out.

Source: Bloomberg, "You Want to Cut Your Kid Out of Your Will. Or Do You?," Lewis Braham, July 23, 2013

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