Wills are certainly helpful in managing your estate, but the laws of Maryland give your children the right to contest that will in court. The question worth asking is whether to go with an equal or equitable division of your estate. The relationships with your children might be a factor, but estate owners must first think about the strength of their estates. A single dispute made against your will after you die can drag litigation on indefinitely.
Here’s a look at some of your options and their ramifications:
Estate owners tend to look at equal shares of an estate as the simplest way to avoid conflicts. When children receive the same portion as their siblings do, their perception of your love toward them might avoid questioning. The idea of one child getting more brings up conflicts that sit deeper than money. Doing an equal inheritance is simple mathematically. Among four children, for example, your estate is divided into four parts.
Based on their circumstances, you might leave one child more than others. This is a delicate situation for most families, so be cautious about what your decisions mean for all of your assets. Presenting your wishes in a way that insults one child is likely to lead that child to contest, seeking more money or none for all. It’s safe to say, however, that it’s extreme for children to contest the entire will. Here are some reasons why you might prefer an equitable division of your estate regardless:
– Relationships you favor
– The financial responsibility they have
– Disabilities or illnesses
– Sentimental items that you wish to pass on
Being vocal about the contents of your will can prepare your children for surprises. It helps to keep the consequences of your requests in mind, avoiding undue litigation later on.