Dividing up your assets can be hard when you have more than one child. In fact, the more children you have, the more you may find it difficult to decide exactly how you want things to be divided.
Some people take the simple route: They simply direct their executor to sell everything except for a few personal mementos, add the proceeds to other liquid assets and divide the money evenly.
But what if that’s not for you? Here are some of the top reasons people choose to leave their adult children different inheritances:
- One child wants a specific asset more than the others. Often, this is the family home. You may want to leave your oldest child the family home. You can then make up the difference in its value to your other children by leaving them more of your other assets, like cash.
- One of your children owes you a significant amount of money. For example, maybe your youngest child borrowed thousands from you to start a business and has yet to pay it back. You may decide that debt should come out of their inheritance in order to be fair to your other children.
- You have a young child or a child with special needs. If one of your children has a disability that makes it difficult or impossible for them to fully provide for themselves or is younger than your other children, you may want to leave more of your assets for that child’s future needs.
- You’ve had a falling out with one child. As unpleasant as it may be, sometimes a child and parent will simply drift apart or have a falling out. If that happens, you may wish to leave them less than you do your other children.
If you’re agonizing over the options for your estate plans, a voice of legal experience may be able to help you explore your choices.