First, what do I do? I specialize in trusts and estates, which means we do estate planning (drafting wills, trusts, end of life documents, etc), and administration (trust administration, probate, after-death planning). This means I’m really good at my area of laws (trusts, estates, and to some extent, taxes) and know very little about the others.
Also, I shouldn’t have to do this, but I’m a lawyer, and we’re all about covering our asses:
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Okay, so you’ve got a character who hates their brother, their son, their whatever. They want to disinherit them.
So do it. It’s not a big deal. We disinherit people all the time, for a variety of reasons: drugs, lack of contact, bad behavior, whatever.
I don’t even bat an eye when people tell me they want to take someone out of their will.
But universally, if someone is disinheriting a kid or a close family member, they feel the need to explain to me at great length why they are doing so. They’re justifying it to themselves, not to me, so I let them talk (my job as a lawyer is 50% drafting, 50% acting as a therapist).
And when people find out they’ve been disinherited? Well, sometimes they’re pissed, but very rarely does it come as a shock to them. I mean, they usually know that the rift is there long before they get a letter from me stating they aren’t getting anything from Uncle Joe.
In short, disinheritance = no big deal. I mean, I’ve seen cases where a guy with a multi-million dollar estate disinherited someone over a $5,000 loan that didn’t get paid back, but even that didn’t come as a shock to the kid no longer receiving the money.
Next time on Evil Esquire: Inheritances with strings attached
p.s. Happy tax day! This post was prescheduled because I’m probably slaving away with clients on last minute deadlines. Ah, the glamorous life of an attorney.
Skye became the black sheep of her university’s literature department when she announced that what she really wanted to do for her senior thesis, instead of writing a thought-provoking essay on the deeper meanings of James Joyce, was to write a romance novel. They gave in, however, and the rest is history. As a result, Skye learned more than she ever thought possible about the inner workings of the publishing industry and off and on, given her schedule, pursued publication of both her senior thesis and other novels she’s written along the way.
Skye has many names and almost as many personalities to go with them. As Melinda Skye, she writes Romantic Suspense, Urban Fantasy, and Young Adult. As Skye Forbes, she may (or may not) have saved the world a few times over. In her real life, under another different name, Skye is a lawyer. And yes, if you ask nicely, she might help keep you out of jail. Or put you in it. It depends on her mood.
Skye lives in California, with her husband, brand new daughter, and menagerie of animals.