Question: I have a child who has led a lifestyle with which I disagree. I prefer not to provide for that child at my death. Can I disinherit that child by providing that he is only to receive $1.00?

Answer: Adult children do not have a legal right to inherit your estate (minor children are often afforded some court protection depending on the state). You can leave your estate to anyone you desire and/or disinherit anyone you want to disinherit.

If you want to disinherit a child, it is best to make it clear in your estate planning documents. Instead of leaving $1.00, it is common to acknowledge the existence of the child but state with certainty that you have intentionally decided not to provide an inheritance for that child.

Comment: If you create a Will but fail to name the child as a beneficiary, the child could go into court and argue that you simply forgot about him. There are even some states that will protect a forgotten child.