Your two children always were very different from each other, even when they were young. Now that they’re adults, nothing much has changed. Your love for each of them is very different — but equal.
Should your estate plans reflect that equal love via an equal distribution of your assets? A lot of parents automatically assume that the right thing to do is to divide their estates evenly between their children. While that is an option, an even split may not really be equitable.
Here are some things to consider before you make this decision:
- What do you want to see happen with your money? If one of your children has been more successful in life than the other, maybe the assets from your estate could help your less-successful child afford important necessities, like a home, medical care or education for your grandkids. Meanwhile, your more successful child would be likely to bank what they’re left, so that money may just sit there.
- Is an even split actually fair? If one of your kids has given up a lot of their time to help you as you age and the other is largely uninvolved in your care, you may want to show your appreciation to the child who assisted you by leaving them a bigger share of the estate.
- Do you know how your kids feel about the issue? Maybe your oldest child feels blessed already and actually thinks their younger brother or sister could make better use of a larger share of the estate. Or, if one of your kids has embraced a minimalist lifestyle, they might actually prefer that the majority of your assets go to their siblings or their descendants.
When you love your children, you naturally want what’s best for them. Talk your concerns over with your estate planner and learn more about the options you may have.