Parents often find it difficult to find the fairest treatment of their children in estate planning.
Dividing an estate equally among children may not necessarily be the fairest way in every case, according to the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog in "Be Fair to Your Heirs: Treating Children Fairly in Your Will.”
The first instinct of many parents when it comes to dividing an estate is to distribute it equally between the children. However, that may not always be the case, because an estate plan that is fair to the children may be one that considers their different life circumstances.
If one child is independently wealthy and another is not, due to a career in public service, it might fair to give the wealthy child less than the other in an estate plan.
In some cases, this approach might not be fair, as it is possible that the wealthy child could fall on hard times.
Another important consideration is the amount of assistance parents have already given to the children.
If one child has received more from the parents than the other, then that can be rectified in an estate plan.
It is important for parents to think about what is truly fair for their families and it is often a good idea to let them know ahead of time, instead of being surprised at a reading of the will.
Reference: Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog (July 31, 2017) "Be Fair to Your Heirs: Treating Children Fairly in Your Will."