Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Many parents must decide whether to divide their estates equally among their children or to treat child differently in their estate plans. In either situation, parents should consider how they would like their children to remember them and how the estate division could affect sibling relationships. Even in situations where parents have a legitimate, sound reason to treat children differently, long-lasting family problems can result from an unequal division.
Regardless of the estate division plan a parent eventually chooses, open communication about the plan may be the best way to avoid family fights later down the line. Surprising children with an estate plan after a parent’s death can leave the children with many questions that will go unanswered. Additionally, open communication allows heirs to ensure that their parents’ wishes are carried out.
See Ruth Mantell, Heiring Grievances, The Wall Street Journal, Dec. 12, 2011.
Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (WealthCounsel) for bringing this article to my attention.