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How do you navigate leaving children unequal inheritance amounts?

| Jan 27, 2021 | Estate Planning |

While planning your estate, you put a lot of focus on taking care of your children in your absence. It may not feel right leaving them the same amount, but you do not know how to go about leaving them different inheritances.

Kiplinger offers advice on the matter. Understand how to do the right thing for your adult children and yourself.

When to leave unequal inheritance amounts

Common scenarios in which you may consider leaving your heirs different inheritances include when you have a child with special needs or physical disabilities that make it difficult to earn a living. If you often give one child more money than your other children, you may leave your other heirs a greater inheritance.

When to explain unequal inheritance amounts

Understandably, your children may grow upset upon learning about their staggered inheritance. Consider sitting your heirs down to tell them about your decision and why you made it. By not explaining your reasoning while alive, you risk your children growing upset when the time comes to read your will. Animosity and resentment could grow between your children. Even if your children do not agree with your decision, they at least know why you made it.

How to handle unequal inheritance amounts

In your golden years, one of your adult children may help take care of you. If so, you may pay that child like you would a caretaker or home health aide. That way, you have a reason for leaving her or him more than your other children.

It is OK to leave your heirs different asset amounts. What matters most is doing so in the fairest, most respectful way possible.