One thing many parents include in their wills are gifts to their children. One of the decisions parents with multiple children have when it comes to leaving gifts to their kids in their will is whether to leave all their kids roughly the same amount or to have an unequal distribution among the children. A recent study indicates an increasing number of such parents are picking the latter option.
The study looked at how common it was for parents to plan an unequal distribution of assets to their children in their will. The study found that around a third of parents who have a will are planning such an unequal distribution. During the 1995 to 2010 time period, the percentage of age 50 and older parents with wills who are planning on giving unequal bequests to their children over doubled.
Why do you think more parents are leaving unequal gifts to their children in wills these days?
An important thing to note is that a parent leaving unequal gifts to their children does not automatically mean they are showing favoritism among their children. There are a wide range of reasons why a parent may find an unequal distribution of assets to be more appropriate than an equal distribution when it comes to gifts to their kids in their wills. Some possible such reasons include: varying needs among their children, varying financial situations among their children, differing levels of financial responsibility among their children or concerns about keeping certain assets in the family.
Skilled estate planning attorneys understand that every family is different and that a family's unique circumstances can impact what sorts of estate planning options would best help a person achieve the overall goals they have for their estate plan when it comes to their family. Such lawyers can assist individuals with tailoring their estate planning to their particular family situation.
Source: Business Insider, "Parents might say they love all their children equally, but it's not apparent in their wills," Bob Bryan, Nov. 3, 2015