Do I have to list my children on my Will if I’m not leaving them anything?

Asked on August 22, 2011 Texas


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In order to protect dependent children, some states prevent a person from entirely disinheriting a child. Under TX law, there is no forced inheritance; a person may disinherit any heir, including an adult child and/or dependent child.

However, if the testator (person making the Will) excludes the “natural objects of [their] bounty,” which usually includes their children, it can be evidence that would support a Will challenge based on undue influence or lack of testamentary capacity.

Accordingly, specific language of disinheritance should be included in a Will. Sometimes listing the children and leaving them each $1.00 suffices.

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