How to Create a Fair Will for Your Children

Estate Planning Attorneys Assisting Long Island Families Create Wills

estate planning attorneyWhen you have more than one child, you may want your will to be fair – even if certain children are treated differently in the terms. An equal split is not always easy for children to accept, especially if you have a split family. But, there are instances when a will can be uneven and still fair to all children named as beneficiaries.

Being Thoughtful Counts

It is not always the amount that “counts,” but rather the thought behind what you are giving. If you are giving family heirlooms or items that are worth a lot of money, but also have sentimental value, it might mean more to certain children than just money. Consider which children will appreciate family heirlooms and which may value money over sentiment. Then, split the assets accordingly.

Teach Children to Prepare for Less

Sometimes, it is best to not talk to your children about the estate or how much they may inherit. Instead, focus on teaching them independence and financial responsibility. If you feel that your children will be unable to manage their inheritance, then you may want to set up an irrevocable trust. That way, heirs will be forced to terms so that they manage their inheritance appropriately.

Have a Conversation

If the estate plan seems unfair, you may want to sit down with all of your children and explain your decision. For example, if you have children from a previous marriage, your children from the current marriage may wonder why you and your new spouse have equally divided all assets.

It is best to sit down and discuss how assets will be distributed, the distribution percentages, and your decisions behind those amounts. When everyone already knows what to expect, it may resolve any conflict later.

Remember Account Designations

You may have a child named as the beneficiary of your retirement account or insurance policy, but only name one child out of many. While your estate plan may say that the estate will be divided equally, these assets would be distributed based on the designation. Therefore, you will want to adjust your designation or account for that payout by splitting other assets differently.

For example, let’s say that you have one child listed as the beneficiary of your company’s insurance policy. Under this line of reasoning, in the estate plan, you could have the other two children receive a larger portion of liquid assets. This would allow the inheritance amounts to nearly equal the same amount in the end.

Speak with a Long Island, NY Estate Planning Attorney

Making a fair will is never easy, but you can find the right designations and plan accordingly by talking to an estate planning attorney. An attorney can help you verify all appointments, list your beneficiaries, and create terms in a trust that protect your heirs. Speak with the Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin, P.C. to get started on your estate plan. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at 516-605-0625 or request your appointment online.

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