My eleven-year-old son has recently taken to calling me “Bald-man”.  I love it.  Nicknames can be endearing, and it makes me sound like an aerodynamic superhero.  On a different topic altogether, what can you do if you want to leave a child out of your Will.

Your Will is the document that decides who receives your assets when you die.  The choice of who gets what is yours entirely.  You are not required to make a gift to a spouse or to your children.  If a family member has upset you (for example, by teasing you about personal features you are sensitive to), you can leave them out.

There are some limits to this.  A family provision claim allows certain family members to claim against your estate after you have died if they have not been adequately provided for.  

If we know it is your intention to leave a family member out of your Will, there are steps we can take to protect your estate.

In Queensland, only your personal assets are vulnerable to a claim.  Many types of assets are not personal assets and are protected.  Those protected assets include superannuation, family trusts and life insurance.  Restructuring ownership of your assets can be an effective way to shield assets from that wayward child.

If you know assets are vulnerable to a claim and you worry about that claim being made, preparing evidence supporting the reasons for your exclusion can help your executor defend your estate.  Details of the offending behaviour, how often you are teased, how bald your are, can really help ensure your wishes are preserved.

The key is to take advice as early as possible.