Tuesday, November 13, 2012

7 reasons kids shouldn't be treated equally in your will

I found this article from www.businessinsider.com interesting because it talks about treating your children unequally in your will. Treating all the children strictly equally is so common in estate planning that many people think it's legally mandatory to do so. It isn't the law that all children be treated equally of course, and this article gives seven really good examples of when a parent might consider treating them unequally. Click here to read it.

I'd recommend this article to all parents. The advice in it is solid, and believe me the earth will not open up and swallow you if you consider leaving different amounts to your children in your will. Sometimes unequal actually means a more fair situation.

I'd also like to add an eighth reason to treat your children unequally. This one is specifically for business owners with a child who is going to follow you into the family business and one day take it over. You may be planning to leave an equal amount to all of your children, but consider this. If you own a business that is worth millions of dollars, and one of your children has already dedicated years to helping you build that business, is it really fair to leave that child only the same amount as the other children receive?

One child has actively contributed to the value of the business; the others have not. To me it's not unreasonable that the child who has helped increase the value for everyone through hard work and time invested should receive a larger share.

This article contains good food for thought.

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