While most parents have the inclination to treat all their children equally when it comes to an inheritance, Personal Family Lawyers know that this is not always the wise choice. Here are some scenarios when an unequal distribution may be better:

If you have one child that is a successful entrepreneur and another that is a social worker, you might want to leave more to the less financially advantaged child. If that’s the case, be sure to either explain it to them beforehand or write a letter to be opened upon your death explaining your reasoning. Most children equate money with love, so don’t leave hard feelings behind.

If you have a child who is poor at managing money and always in debt, you have an alternative to leaving an inheritance outright: a spendthrift trust. Setting up a trust to disburse certain amounts at predetermined ages, or allocating funds for medical or educational expenses, can protect the inheritance throughout your child’s lifetime. In this case, it is best to name a trustee who is not a family member.

If you have a child who has one or more divorces or a string of bad relationships, you should probably consider establishing a trust in this case as well to shield assets from divorce.

A child with special needs should be provided for through a special needs trust, which can be established in a way that protects his or her ability to receive necessary governmental assistance.

If you have a child who has a chronic illness and needs expensive medical treatment, you might want to consider purchasing additional life insurance naming that child as beneficiary. If the child is a minor, you will need to set up a trust as beneficiary of the policy.

If you have made substantial loans to one child and not the others, you may wish to count those as an early inheritance and take them into account before estate assets are distributed.

In some cases, parents want to disinherit a child. If you do decide to take this path, you need to be clear that you are intentionally disinheriting the child and not just simply leave them out of your estate plan.

To learn how we can help you, contact us today at 210.410.8013 for a 15 minute discovery call.

This article is a service of Trisha Morales Padia, a Trusted Family Lawyer Firm. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That’s why we offer a Legacy Planning Session during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a Legacy Planning Session.

The content is sourced from Personal Family Lawyer for use by Personal Family Lawyer firms, a source believed to be providing accurate information. This material was created for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as ERISA, tax, legal, or investment advice. If you are seeking legal advice specific to your needs, such advice services must be obtained on your own separate from this educational material.