What to Do If You Are Appointed Guardian of an Older Adult
Being appointed guardian of a loved one is a serious responsibility. As guardian, you are in charge of your loved one's well-...Read more
Parents usually want to leave their children equal shares of their estate, but equal isn’t always fair. If you plan to provide more (or less) for one child in your estate plan, preparation is important.
It is natural for parents to want to treat their children equally in their estate plan, but there are some circumstances in which a parent might want to leave children unequal shares. If one child is providing all the caregiving, the parent might want to reward that child. If one child is substantially better off than another child, then the parent might want to provide more for the child who has a greater need for the funds.
Other factors that can influence how much to give each child is if one child has special needs or if there is a family business that only one child wants to run. It’s also possible that the parents have already provided more for one child during their lifetime, maybe by paying for graduate school or helping them buy a house.
Whatever the reason for leaving your children unequal shares, the important thing is to discuss your reasoning with the children. Sit down with them and explain your decision-making process. If you feel like the conversation could be difficult and contentious, you could hire a mediator to help facilitate the discussion.
Your children may be understanding of your decision, but if you are worried about one child challenging your will after you die, you may want to take additional steps:
Learn more about how to prevent a will contest.