One of the cornerstones of estate planning for most families is to leave equal shares of inheritances to ensure fair treatment among siblings. However, equal shares aren’t always fair, especially when circumstances are complicated. In some cases, giving children equal inheritances is the worst option, according to a recent article, “How to avoid potential conflict among your kids when leaving an unequal inheritance” from MarketWatch.
Leaving unequal inheritances can be risky. Many American households report that their future financial stability depends upon receiving an inheritance. Data from the University of Michigan’s Health and Retirement Study reveals that the proportion of parents over 50 who reported treating children unequally in their wills jumped from 16% to nearly 35% between 1995 and 2010.
Why Leave Unequal Inheritance?
When are parents likely to leave unequal inheritances? If one sibling is struggling financially and the other is flush with income and good fortune, it may be the right thing to do. This may also apply if one child has already received a large amount of financial support or has special needs.
One of the most common reasons for leaving unequal inheritances is to address uncompensated caregiving from an adult child. Two-thirds of respondents in a Merrill Lynch and Age Wave study said children who provided care late in life should receive a larger inheritance than those who did not.
No one wants to create tension after their passing. These tips may help prevent conflict between siblings when inheritances are unequal:
The attorney at Vick Law, P.C. will carefully discuss your options with you to help you create the best plan for you and you families needs. Book a call with Vick Law, P.C. today to create or update your estate plan today.
Reference: MarketWatch (May 6, 2023) “How to avoid potential conflict among your kids when leaving an unequal inheritance”