You’re Out – The Incorrect Way to Disinherit a Child

Family arguementWhen one child is left out of a will without explanation, it often leads to problems with other siblings. Such is the case with one son of wealthy mining magnate Harry Magnuson, who is suing his siblings over an inheritance.

In 2002, Harry Magnuson and his wife Colleen had wills drawn up that left everything to the surviving spouse. Upon the death of the surviving spouse, the overall estate was to be divided equally among their five children. Harry passed away in 2009 and Colleen received everything as planned. However, when she passed away, everything was not divided equally between all of the children.

Colleen had signed a new will in 2011 that revoked the 2002 will and completely disinherited her son, Thomas. The remaining four children inherited everything. Thomas was not amused. Apparently, the new will was prepared by a notary working in the law office of one of the other Magnuson siblings. This has predictably led to problems.

Thomas Magnuson is suing his siblings, claiming that they conspired to unduly influence their mother to have him cut out of the will. The Spokesman-Review reported this story in a recent article titled "Magnuson son sues siblings."

It is too soon to know what will happen in this case. This is yet another example of what happens when there is a lot of money at stake and a family member does not think that he or she was treated fairly in an estate plan.

Even if the other four siblings are found to have not unduly influenced their mother to rewrite her will, this case will likely cost the family a lot of money and hurt feelings. If you really want to disinherit one of your descendants, be sure to contact an experienced estate planning attorney. You can learn more about this topic as well as other strategies on our website under the tab entitled: estate planning in Virginia. Be sure you also sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter so that you may be informed of all the latest issues that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning.  However, proper estate planning is not a do-it-yourself project.  Why not call us for a complimentary consultation at 757-259-0707.

Reference: The Spokesman-Review (July 24, 2015) "Magnuson son sues siblings."

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