What are some reasons for an unequal estate divide?

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2021 | Estate Planning |

The standard advice for estate planning parents with children is to divide the estate as evenly as possible. This is so the chance for inter-family conflict does not spike after your death. Conventional wisdom says that uneven estate plans lead to conflict.

However, more and more Americans are saying that an unequal estate plan is the way to go. According to Considerable, two-thirds of parents with more than one child say that certain circumstances merit an uneven split in the estate.

What are the reasons?

A popular reason for an uneven estate divide is to give the child who was more involved with eldercare a bigger piece of the pie. Additionally, many surveyed Americans reported that they do not plan to treat their stepchildren the same as their biological or adopted ones.

Income or career may also play a role in how parents choose to divide their estate. For instance, if an estate planner has one child working in finance and the other child working in education, the planner may choose to give the public school teacher more of an inheritance than the banker.

Safety in mind

Yet more Americans report concerns about leaving a large inheritance to a child that struggles with addiction or overspending. In this instance, the estate planner may choose to select a trustee to manage how much money the child gets from a trust.

The best way to avoid potential conflict after your death is to inform your adult children how you plan to split your estate. However, if you anticipate this causing serious conflict while you are still alive, sometimes silence is the best route.