Parents have many good reasons for wanting to leave one child a larger inheritance than another child. The most common reasons are that one child needs the money more or that one child has been given more financial support than the other previously.
Recently, Washington Post columnist Michelle Singletary discussed these reasons and others in an article. She receive some pushback from readers, which she discusses in another column reprinted in the Ventura County Star as "Michelle Singletary: Will does not equal parental love."
Singletary's readers pointed out that children who receive a lesser inheritance than others often come to believe that means their parents loved them less or that they have done something wrong.
Sometimes the unequal inheritances even lead to bitter family disputes.
Singletary responds with a plea to those who inherit less. She encourages them not to assume they were loved less by their parents, but to consider the valid reasons for inequality.
While that debate is interesting, there is another thing that needs to be pointed out. A lot of the problems unequal inheritances cause can be avoided. Parents can discuss their estate plans with their children before they pass away and let the children know why there is a disparity.
Consult a qualified estate planning attorney to help you through this delicate process.
Reference: Ventura County Star (Oct. 12, 2016) "Michelle Singletary: Will does not equal parental love."