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Treating Children Equally When One Is Not Responsible

MP900407458Most parents want to treat all their children the same in their estate plans. That can be difficult, when one of the children is not very responsible with financial matters.

Every parent with multiple children knows that despite being raised the same, they all turn out differently. They have different abilities and often very different attitudes about things.

Children also have different levels of financial responsibility.  Nevertheless, most parents do want to leave all their children an equal inheritance and they do not want to offend one of them by treating them differently than the others. This was the dilemma of a woman who recently wrote into Market Watch for advice in “My son is responsible, my daughter is in debt — how do I split my estate?

A common way to do this is to create an estate plan that limits how the trust assets can be used. Provisions can be written into the trust, so an irresponsible child cannot waste any money received on frivolous things. This is unlikely to offend any responsible children, if they use the money in reasonable ways.

Not all families are the same. The best way to get an estate plan that covers your unique family situation, is to visit with an estate planning attorney. Let the attorney develop the best way to distribute your estate, given the needs of your family.

Reference: Market Watch (Feb. 16, 2018) “My son is responsible, my daughter is in debt — how do I split my estate?