When it comes to hunkering down and finally planning out your will, there is that certain conundrum that arises when you have to figure out how much each child receives. Inheritance can be a tricky tight rope if you’re not planning to simply give equal shares to all your descendants.
Since it’s best to accomplish this process with an estate planning attorney, bring up the topic of dividing equally versus equitably. If you’re not going to give the exact same amount, it may make sense to divide shares by how much seems fitting for each of their situations and behaviour. It’s natural to have some qualms about the right way to go about this, but some considerations may help you settle your plan.
Does Each Child Have Similar Needs?
The first thing to consider is how your children are doing in life. Do they all have the same level of education? How are they doing career-wise? What is their lifestyle?
This is also the part where you may have extra considerations if you have any children with special needs. They will likely need more to have the proper resources to be cared for. You need to think about each child’s healthcare, their own direction, and whether or not they have any dependents.
Considering this can shine a better light on whether or not you should give split the inheritance equally or not.
Are They All Financially and Emotionally Capable?
Responsibility will be the most significant catalyst in this situation. First, who is likely able to handle the assets left to them with care and discipline? You may need to think about the next steps here. Once you’ve passed, you will have to designate certain assets and responsibilities for your children.
The first thing to think about is whether they can handle such duties. The second thing is whether they might harbour resentment toward each other over the designation of said assets and obligations. Finally, you want to make sure it doesn’t fall into the hands of an individual that will just blow it all away.
What is the Likelihood of Your Child Filing a Lawsuit Over This?
Sometimes, feelings get hurt because of how last wills and testaments pan out. In fact, this is a very common dispute in families. You may not want to think ill of your children, but if you’re going to give different amounts or assets, then you need to think about this.
It can be detrimental to the family if one suddenly decides to start litigation over some dispute on the will. Consider their personality, relationships with each other, and mental capability.
Has Each Child Received the Same Support?
One more thing that may influence your decision is how much financial support you’ve given to each child throughout their life. Perhaps you’ve given more expensive gifts to one child, or you’ve helped one kickstart a business. Maybe you’ve even paid more educational fees for one of your children or even indulged in the simple vices of another.
In turn, you can also think of how much they have supported you. Though you may not want to ‘rank’ your children’s care, it’s an excellent way to see whose time and efforts may best be compensated.
At the end of the day, it is your own will, so it’s still your prerogative. Besides, if you ever change your mind, you can always call your attorney and ask them how to amend a will accordingly. It’s important to remember that your will is also just one part of your estate plan, which requires more decisions and thought to preserve.
Make sure you have the proper guidance and resources to get this done. With Ontario Wills & Estate Plans, you can get quality legal advice from a top-tier will and estate lawyer in Kanata. Reach out to use for a video conference.