Be Clear and Concise in Your Will · 3.Before explaining how to handle unequal inheritance, it will be important for you to understand what inheritance really is. An inheritance is any asset that you leave to a specific person within your will. These assets can include anything from cars to jewelry, clothing, money, 401k accounts and more. When an inheritance is unequal, this means that the value of the assets left to each individual does not equal the same amount for each person.
If you think a conflict may arise when talking about unequal inheritance between your children, you can choose to hire a mediator who is a professional who can help your children overcome their frustrations with their decision and who is a sounding board during the conversation. This will help keep the conversation on track and it won't get out of hand. Only married or civil couples and some other close relatives can inherit under intestate succession rules, including their children. If there is no will, a court will use the law to make many decisions about what happens to your property and who will care for your child or children based on their age.
Serious problems and confusion are being caused to families who are unable to communicate clearly with each other about inheritance planning. Intestate succession rules state what happens when there is no will in force, including who can and cannot inherit. He recently advised a client who had decided to put all her children's inheritances in trusts that marital problems were her motivation for not telling her very vocal children her decision. No matter what parents' reasoning for leaving uneven legacies, experts advise them to understand how such a decision can harm the people who matter most to them.
When leaving an unequal inheritance, follow these steps to avoid hurting feelings or potential conflicts between your children. You have to decide how important that risk is given your children's temperament, their relationships with each other, and whether any risk of leaving an unequal inheritance is worth what you're trying to achieve. As estate planning lawyers point out, there is a difference between leaving an equal inheritance, where each child receives the same amount, and an equitable inheritance, where each child receives what is fair, given their circumstances. Or maybe a child is not as financially stable as the others, or he is disabled, and you want to leave him a larger inheritance as a safety net.
That said, an equal inheritance makes the most sense when any donations or financial support you have given to your children throughout their lives have been minimal or substantially the same, and when there is no situation where a child has provided most of the custodial care of an older parent. However, to avoid legal challenges by a disinherited sibling, the parent should consider discussing the matter with the child or explaining the reason in the will. Two-thirds said that a child who intervenes as the primary caregiver of an aging mother or father deserves to inherit more than other siblings. And a recent BMO Wealth Management survey reported that about 40% of respondents who had received unequal inheritances felt that the distribution among the family was not “fair”.
So when does it make sense to leave each of your children the same inheritance and when does a different arrangement make the most sense? And how could each choice affect the harmony between siblings and if your desires are carried out as you intended? Keep reading. It is common for parents to want to leave their child, who was their primary caregiver in his later years, a larger sum of inheritance in their will to reimburse them for all their help. So, if you are someone considering leaving an unequal inheritance, rest assured that you are not alone. .