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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Monday, October 10, 2016

Does Inheritance Need to be Divided Equally?

When trying to determine how to divide an estate among several children, there’s no rule that says it must be divided equally. There could be several reasons why you may want to divide unequally and possibly even leave someone out of the inheritance.

If all things are equal in terms of each child’s personal life, you may need to look at who would benefit more from the additional assets. If one child is financially successful, and another can use some help, it may be wise to think about how you’re dividing your estate.

But if one child is irresponsible, it may not be in his or her best interests to receive a sudden influx of money.

If there are children from more than one marriage that can also be a factor in how assets get divided.

So in the end it may be best to look at how to treat children fairly rather than how to treat them equally.  But if you do decided to divide an inheritance unequally, there is one critical step. Because dividing an estate unevenly is likely to result in hurt feelings at the very least, it is essential to try to have honest and frank discussions in advance. It may not eliminate hurt feelings but at least you can try to get children to understand the rationale behind your actions.


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