Do I have to include all of my adult kids in my will?

No, the law does not require you to include all of your adult children in your will or in your estate plan. It is your right to provide for all of your children, some of your children, or none of your children as you see fit. However, if it is your intention to provide for some, but not all of your adult children then it is very important to make sure that you create your estate plan properly and in such a way so that it cannot be effectively contested.

This Provides Certainty for All of Your Children

There are many reasons to include some, but not all, of your adult children in your estate plan. For example, you might not have any relationship with one of your children or you may have already provided one of your children with a large financial gift. It is not the job of an estate planning lawyer to judge whether or not this is the right decision. Instead, it is the job of an estate planning lawyer to make sure that your wishes are implemented upon your death.

To do this, an estate planning lawyer may:

  • Make sure that you are acting without undue influence. The decision must be yours and yours alone. It cannot be unduly influenced by your spouse, child, or anyone else.
  • Make sure that you are of sound mind. You need to understand what you are doing.
  • Make sure that you understand the consequences of the estate plan that you implement. You need to know how these decisions will impact each of your children in the future.

Once those three criteria are met then your estate planning lawyer will help you create your estate plan. For more information about how this works and what you should think about when creating your own estate plan, watch our free videos and follow us on Facebook today.


James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm