It’s not always best to divide your assets equally amongst your children if it doesn’t make sense for your family’s situation. When that’s the case, you might consider leaving an equitable inheritance for everyone rather than an equal inheritance. Each of your children will receive what’s fair for them to get when their circumstances are considered as opposed to everyone simply getting an equal amount.
Equal or equitable distribution?
When you distribute everything equally in your estate planning, there may be a lower chance that you’ll run into fights in the family. If everyone doesn’t get the same amount, people feel unfairly treated. There may be the notion that you’ve picked favorites or maliciously left someone out.
If their needs are similar, they’re in comparable life situations and the support they’ve received from their parents has been more or less equal, an even split of the assets might be best. But if some of your children have had a more difficult time with their finances than others, you might want to do more to ensure they’re taken care of after you and your spouse pass away.
Consider each child on an individual basis
Think about the mental and emotional capability of each child. Ask yourself if they’re responsible enough to handle their own financial matters or if they’d benefit from some extra help. It’s also important to think about whether or not they’d use their inherited assets wisely.
It might be easy to determine what makes the most sense for your will. You might have one child who has always wanted to live in the family home, for instance, and another child who lives nearer to the vacation house. The values might not be equal, so if you’re going for an equal inheritance, cash or other assets could be used to make up the difference.