Deciding whom to bequeath your assets to in your will is tough. This is particularly true when you have multiple children. Some of them will be hurt if they are left less than others. The ones who are treated more generously will assume you liked them better. Contentious family disagreements are surely the last thing you want following your passing.
Is there a way to circumvent all the bickering that is fair and equitable to all concerned? You need to think all this through very thoroughly when you write your will.
Don’t try to level the playing field
Parents may think it’s only fair to leave more to an adult child who is struggling than to their siblings who are doing better financially. That creates a touchy situation for everyone. After mulling it over yourself, talk to your heirs to see how they feel about it. Giving them a chance to air their opinions – or grievances – may deflect trouble later on.
There are times when allocating your assets, with substantially more going to one child than another, is understandable. If you have a child with a costly, long-term medical condition, for example, then that person should conceivably inherit a heftier share of your money. A family business can make a difference in how much each child inherits, depending on whether they are involved in that business or have no connection to it.
You may not be able to satisfy all of your children’s wishes when you seek their input. However, with experienced legal guidance, you can develop a will and estate plan that reflect your wishes for your family.