Why You Must Mark the Box

When making your will with Nolo's Online Will, you must agree to a sentence like this that will appear in your will document: If I do not leave property in this will to any of my children or grandchildren, my failure to do so is intentional.

Why This Sentence

This sentence is included in your will document to make clear that if you don’t leave any property to one of your children or grandchildren, that this was your intention.

Including this sentence is important because although you must name all of your children and grandchildren, you don’t have to leave them any property. By making your intention clear, this sentence helps ward off potential challenges by a child or grandchild to whom you leave nothing.

You Must Name All Children and Grandchildren

This sentence only works if you've named all of your children and grandchildren -- born to or adopted by you or by your child. The legal purpose of naming all of your children and grandchildren is that unnamed children or grandchildren could claim that you accidentally omitted them from your will and that they are owed a portion of your estate.

To avoid this possibility, Nolo’s Online Will 1) has you name all of your children and grandchildren and then 2) includes this sentence about your intentions.

Why You Can Agree

If you named all of your children and grandchildren, and you are leaving each of them something in your will, you can agree to this sentence because you are not intentionally leaving anyone out of your will.

If you named all of your children and grandchildren and you leave any of them nothing in your will, then you can agree to this sentence because you are intentionally leaving them nothing.

If You Expect Conflict, See a Lawyer

If you do not want to name all of your children or grandchildren, or if you expect conflict about your will, see a lawyer for help. An experienced estate planning attorney can take your unique circumstances into account and personalize your will to maximize the possibility that your wishes are followed.