Can a Will that Treats Children Differently be Fair?

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017, 6:12 pm

Deciding where your assets go after you pass away can be difficult. When you have more than one child or a large family, you may want to be sure that each individual will receive an equal inheritance. However, this isn’t always realistic.

 

It’s normal to be concerned about splitting your possessions and assets among your children, grandchildren, or other beneficiaries, but it can feel even more overwhelming if you want to leave more to a certain child or grandchild. But leaving an even inheritance to each individual is not always best for you.

 

But is it fair to treat children differently in your will? The answer is yes.

 

Creating an Uneven Will

 

When creating a will, you get to determine what is left behind to each individual. If you feel it is necessary to leave more to old child, then you have the right to do so in your will. However, it is recommended to outline why you’re leaving an uneven will to avoid problems in the future.

 

Some parents may choose to divvy up their remaining funds based on their children’s needs. If one child has more debt or has chosen a lower-paying career path, they may receive more when the parents pass.

 

An uneven will is also common when a family business is in the picture. If you’re leaving behind a business that one child plans on running, it is common to leave the business to that child and not the others. However, to make the will a bit more even, you may decide to leave the children who aren’t receiving the business more money or other property.

 

It is up to you whether or not you want to leave the same amount to each of your children. But if you do decide to create an uneven will, have a conversation with your beneficiaries about why you’ve made that decision. Letting them know what they will receive upfront can avoid family fights or court battles after you pass.

 

If you need help creating your will, contact the estate planning attorneys at Michael F. Kanzer and Associates.

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