Monday, March 1, 2021
In order to avoid conflict, many parents and/or grandparents decide to leave their children the same inheritance, although equal may not always be equitable. With the pandemic bringing the drafting and execution of more wills, this issue is coming up more frequently.
One example of this situation occurred with clients of Elizabeth Candido Petite, an estate planning lawyer in N.J. Her clients wanted to give one of their children more than the other two because she "needed it more."
This child in particular had been laid off due to the pandemic and her parents had a feeling she would continue to need extra help. Meanwhile, the other two children still had their jobs and those jobs were in "higher-paying careers."
Luckily, in this instance the other two children agreed and everyone was on the same page.
According to a survey by Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and the consultant Age Wave, "two-thirds of Americans 55 and older said a child who provided them care should get a bigger inheritance than children who did not."
Different families might approach these issues based on what their personal definition is of "fair" and "equity." Equal is not always fair and fair is not always equitable.
See Susan B. Garland, The Unequal Inheritance: It Can Work, or It Can ‘Destroy Relationships’, N.Y. Times, February 19, 2021.
Special thanks to Matthew Bogin, (Esq., Bogin Law) for bringing this article to my attention.