Can a Will Exclude a DIL

Question: Dear Luise: My husband and I want to make a will. We have three wonderful children that we love very much. The problem is that we don’t want to leave anything to our daughter-in-law. I don’t know of any other way we can do that unless we leave our son out of the will. I don’t think I can do that. Any advice? L.

Answer: Dear L.: That’s a tricky situation. There’s no way around it that I know of. No matter how you try to protect the bequest, it can be cashed out and given to your daughter-in-law by your son, if he so chooses.

An acquaintance of mine just went through something similar after she found out she had terminal cancer. Her closest and oldest friend married a guy who brought her nothing but grief. My friend went to an attorney trying to find out how to set up a trust that her friend’s husband couldn’t access or an account someone would monitor for her. I couldn’t be done. Her husband is clever and a great manipulator…piece of cake. In the end she left the money as planned knowing what would probably happen to it but not wanting to punish her friend further for her poor choice in a partner.

It sounds like that’s what you’re going to have to do…choose between hurting your son or taking a chance that his wife will get control of part of or all of your bequest. Neither choice has much appeal. I would just go with my heart. Blessings. Luise

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