Trusts & Estates

Should Parents Be Able to Disinherit Minor Children?

Everyone agrees that Anthony “Corky” Sliwkowski loved his daughters. Yet when the Rhode Island dentist died in 2004, it turned out that he had disinherited the girls, then aged 11 and 13, and a grown son, cutting them all out of his $3 million estate.

Their mother sued, hoping to protect other children from the emotional as well as the financial impact of being disinherited during their growing-up years. However, she eventually settled with the relative who inherited from her ex-husband, deciding that she could not afford to pursue the case to the point of establishing legal precedent, reports the Boston Globe.

Nonetheless, her battle to change the state’s inheritance law isn’t over yet. Mark Sjoberg, a lawyer who represented Barbara Sliwkowski in her fight to obtain court-ordered child support from her ex-husband’s estate, plans to introduce related legislation next month. It would treat post-mortem child support as a debt that must be settled by the estate before inheritances are paid, the newspaper reports.

Sliwkowski’s former sister-in-law, who inherited Anthony Sliwkowski’s assets, told the Globe that she intended from the start to honor her deceased brother’s plan to establish educational trusts for the two minor girls, but was stymied by the suit filed by their mother.

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