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Should your children receive an equal inheritance?

On Behalf of | May 24, 2023 | Estate Planning

A will allows you to stipulate where assets held in your Oklahoma estate go after your passing. For instance, if you have children, you can dictate that they all get an equal share of funds in a bank account or the title to your home. Of course, there is no requirement that each child receive an equal inheritance.

Everyone is different

If one of your children owns three homes and makes $500,000 a year, that child might not need as much help as your other child who makes $25,000 a year. You may also want to take each child’s age into account when deciding what to give them. For instance, a younger child may need more help paying for college or making a down payment on a house simply because of inflation. Younger children may also need more help as they may not command as high of a salary as their older siblings who have more experience.

Avoid arguments

One potential benefit of an equal split is that it might avoid family infighting and other issues that a contested estate might cause. Notably, a claim against your estate may delay the settling of your affairs while draining your estate of assets that would otherwise be given to your beneficiaries. Even if your kids don’t pursue a will contest, hurt feelings may take time to heal, and as a parent, it’s probably not your intent to drive your kids apart.

Creating a valid will may reduce the odds of a contest even if your heirs don’t like its terms. Typically, such a document can only be challenged if there is reason to believe that you weren’t of sound mind to create or edit it or that changes were made as a result of undue influence.