For some families, drafting a living trust that provides equally for all children is the overall goal of their estate plan. This is not always the case, however. Some parents may instead opt to omit one or more children from receiving any property from their trust or estate. The reasons for doing so can fall under many categories. For example, the omitted child may have had a poor relationship with the parent. In other cases, the omitted child may be from a prior relationship. Another, less contentious reason could be that the omitted child is financially secure and the parents opted to provide for less fortunate children instead. Regardless of the reason, if you are administering a trust that involves omitted children, special care must be taken during the process.
Seven Tips for Administering a Living Trust That Involves an Omitted Child
Since trust administrations in San Diego that involve omitted children can sometimes be more likely to involve disputes, it is important to follow the below tips as you carry out this process:
- Carefully review the terms of the trust and ensure that you are administering the trust in accordance with those provisions.
- Consult with an attorney if there was no specific provision within the will or trust that omitted the child.
- Give proper notice of the right to request a copy of the trust to the omitted child.
- Inform the omitted child of the 120-day period in which he or she can contest the accompanying will.
- Be certain that you file the will with the appropriate probate court.
- Since the omitted child is likely an “heir at law,” be certain to provide such child with all applicable notices that he or she is entitled to under the law.
- Keep complete and accurate records of all of your actions as trustee. Estate plans that involve omitted children present a higher likelihood of contest later, since the omitted child may be upset and seeking a reason to involve the court.
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