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3 good reasons to leave unequal bequests in your estate

On Behalf of | Apr 9, 2024 | Estate Planning

A lot of parents try their hardest to leave roughly equal bequests in their estates to all their adult children – but what if that’s not what you want to do? 

There are plenty of perfectly valid reasons that people can and do leave unequal bequests to their heirs. Here are some of the most common:

There are disparate needs

When one child is struggling financially but the others are all thriving, parents sometimes decide that they want the bulk of their estate to go where it is needed the most.

One child has special needs

Sometimes parents know that one of their children will always require assistance in life due to any combination of mental or physical disabilities. Knowing that, they may choose to put the majority of their estate in a trust to benefit that child in the future.

One child is sacrificing something

Sometimes parents decide to revise their will to heavily favor one child over the others because that child steps in to be their caregiver, giving up their time, energy and other life goals for the duration. It’s only natural to want to reward that kind of sacrifice.

Unequal bequests can cause a great deal of inter-family conflict – and they can sometimes lead to estate disputes. You have a right to do whatever you want with your assets, but you may be able to minimize the chances of problems by discussing your intentions and your motivations with your loved ones and gaining their support. Failing that, you may want to look into all your estate planning options, including the use of no-contest clauses and trusts, so that your wishes are respected.

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