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Reasons for leaving unequal shares in your estate plan

On Behalf of | Sep 13, 2023 | Estate Planning |

Although many people in Maryland divide their assets evenly among their heirs, others do not. However, some family members may not be happy with your decision, feeling that those who receive a larger share of your assets may have unfairly coerced you into your decision. How do you handle this situation and diffuse potential future animosity?

Reasons for leaving unequal shares

Fairness doesn’t necessarily mean equal when it comes to estate planning. In most instances, unequal shares for estate assets usually involve unusual properties, especially businesses. Family companies may be better left to children or other family members who have helped run the business and understand its operations. Yet, there are other reasons to divide assets unequally.

Some individuals address differences in need between their children, especially when one is extremely wealthy and the other is not. In these situations, experts recommend that you explain your wishes to the more affluent heir when you create your estate plan.

A third scenario involves parents leaving more money to charities than their children. Such scenarios usually involve high-worth individuals. If you are thinking about leaving money to a charity or foundation, you may be better off donating a considerable amount to a charity during your lifetime to avoid disputes after your passing.

Estate plans don’t resolve family issues

Devising a sound estate plan takes time because of the many different components in it. Even if you don’t have considerable wealth, you should remember that you may only please some with how you leave your assets to your heirs. Nevertheless, your assets are yours to dispose of as you wish. Even if you give more money to a child you feel you may have slighted during your lifetime, such actions don’t resolve issues.

Take time to figure out how to distribute your wealth through your will, various trusts and other financial instruments. Remain aware that what works well now may change in 10 years. Estate planning is fluid, so if you need to change elements, you can do so. But always remember to talk to heirs about your wishes.