What if You Want to Split Your Estate Unequally for Your Heirs?

What if You Want to Split Your Estate Unequally for Your Heirs?

It’s a common issue faced by many people planning out their estates — they have multiple children of varying income levels, and want to be more generous to the child who makes less money than the others. Is it at all fair or a good idea to unequally divide the estate?

First, you are allowed to divide your estate in any way you want. However, you must understand that your choices have potential consequences. Thus, it’s important to carefully think through your estate planning decisions and then clearly communicate them to the people they affect.

Inheritance issues can be emotional

The subject of inheritance can be difficult to breach. It is the last gift from a parent to a child, and can therefore be seen as a symbol of approval or love. It’s easy to see why a child might interpret a smaller inheritance as a punishment, especially if his or her sibling(s) received more. These challenges may be exacerbated if there is any lingering “bad blood” in your family, especially among siblings.

Another challenge to consider is that the financial situations of your children can easily change. Although it is a noble idea to want to help out your children who need it more, there is never any guarantee of stability for your other kids in the long term.

Ultimately, only you are able to make the decision related to how much to leave to each child. However, regardless of your choice, you need to be upfront in discussing your plans with your kids. One of the main reasons you often hear about children getting into arguments about inheritances or estate plans is because they were blindsided by the contents of a will or trust. By removing that surprise, you can resolve any issues from the start.

For the information and guidance you need as you set up your estate plan, consult an experienced Tampa will and trust attorney at BaumannKangas Estate Law.