It is never a good idea to plan a will that leaves one of your children with more money than the other or vice versa. Even small differences in inheritance could cause tension and drive them siblings apart. Equal inheritance to adult kids is important to avoid conflicts after you’ve gone.
Not all kids or family members are exactly alike, and you should consider that when planning a will. Favoring one child over others, however, could cause hurt and may even present legal challenges.
Make it so that your family understands why you are not leaving equal shares. It is perfectly understandable that you may want to favor one child who earns less or has special needs. Have a conversation with other members and tell them why you’re doing it. You may speak with your children one at a time or call a family meeting to explain your plans. Open discussions can bring up ideas you might not have thought about.
Protection Against Legal Challenges
If you choose to distribute unequally, law firms like Quinn Takarada, P.C say that there are things you can do to protect it against legal challenges. These include drafting a letter of instruction and proving your capacity. It is also best to be open about the plans while you’re still alive. This ensures that all family members understand it, reducing suspicions in the future. Advice from legal professional can also be beneficial.
Leave an equal share of assets to reduce conflicts and fighting if possible. This also applies to appointing responsibilities for settling affairs. Doing so means making a statement as to who is capable and worthy. It is also a good idea to split the bulk of assets equally among children, while leaving at least 20 percent of assets for emergency needs.
If you can’t talk to your kids about unequal inheritance, leave a letter to explain your decision. Make sure to address questions, disappointments, and resentment your children may have. If you don’t say anything, it may tarnish their memories of you and set off challenges to your will.