My wife and I state in our Will that house goes to all our children, but one of them is not to be made to leave.

Unfortunately, the proposal you have stated is unworkable, or at the very least creates problems down the road. You are essentially burdening all the siblings for the benefit of one. This is certainly contestable, and in all likelihood will incur a lot of cost and dissipation of the estate–not to mention the animosity it might fuel among the siblings.

If your intentions are to protect one child, you should consider giving him/her a “life estate”: the property is conveyed to the X for life, then to u, v, and z (whomever you wish, as remaindermen). This insures that child X can have use and enjoyment of the property for life, cannot alienate (sell) the property, and the remaindermen siblings will take the property at the end of the life term. The party with use and enjoy assumes all the responsibilities of ownership (taxes, maintenance, etc) as well as insuring the property is preserved for the remainders to take.

You should definitely speak to an estate planning attorney to review your options and address your concerns more specifically. If this is already stated in your will, you must seriously reconsider what you have structured (and use a different lawyer, if this Will was prepared by counsel). In my years of probating estates, I have found that most problems arise when the distributions, as expressed in the Will, were not properly screened by the scribing attorney for feasibility and ease of probating.
I urge you to consult a lawyer.


This answer is provided for informational purposes only and it is not intended as legal advice. Additionally, this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you wish to obtain legal advice specific to your case, please consult with a local attorney.  Matta Law – the Law office of Estela Matta, Esq. offers a free half hour consultation.