Should siblings receive the same inheritance?

For many families, treating all children equally is the right choice. It certainly makes things easier after there has been a death, there are fewer hurt feelings, and makes it easier to divide the money or possessions that are left. If you have children with very different needs or very different agendas, your estate plan will need to consider that. The standard advice among experts is to divide your estate equally among your children.

For most older parents, it's easier to leave each adult child the same inheritance. But is equality always equitable? For many, the answer is no. And as the pandemic prompts people to draft or update their succession plans, the more they are faced with that question. Planning before death can address many of the issues that arise after a person's death.

Perhaps the most important action you can take is to have a will that specifies which sibling receives what in terms of property. All assets must be taken into account and who receives what can be specified in a will. Alternatively, it is possible to give instructions for the family home to be sold and that the income is divided equitably. If a parent wants to leave a sibling out of the will, this is legally allowed.

There is no rule that prohibits disinheriting a child. 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. When the father ignores past gifts and opts for equal shares, children who received less help during the father's lifetime may resent that decision, lawyers say. Siblings will inherit when there are no other closest relatives of the deceased who inherits the estate.

The two children decided that they would rather see their struggling brother receive more than possibly seek their financial help later. It's easy to see how quickly even the best intentioned inheritance plans can go wrong, sowing mistrust and disappointment among siblings after the death of one parent. They also remember what they and their brothers and sisters have received over the years while the father was alive. 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.

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. While a child who has moved home to act as primary caregiver may see his decision as a great personal sacrifice, a sibling may interpret it as a convenient way to eliminate the need to earn a living independently and at the same time pave the way to, for example, inheriting the parents' home as” payment for end-of-life care benefit. Sibling feelings and financial circumstances may change, and plans need to be reviewed accordingly. His brothers weren't opposed to him getting anything else for care, but he was also spending money on home health aides.

Or, it could decide to designate certain assets for immediate receipt by the children, and leave the remaining assets to the spouse. Let's unravel some sibling inheritance laws and take a look at when a brother might be entitled to an inheritance. The relationships you have with your siblings can be some of the most formative and important in your life. One of the most common (and controversial) arguments about unequal inheritance arises from disputes over the amount of reward that a child caregiver should receive above and beyond another sibling or siblings.