Your Assets and Your Children: Dividing Your Estate

When planning the division of your assets, you may believe in a policy of “share and share alike.” This is perhaps the easiest method to avoid conflicts and complaints of favoritism. But does equality necessarily equate to fairness? After all, fairness is only relative, especially when one considers factors such as age, talents/skills, interests, needs, and degrees of material success. A more practical approach to the division of assets may be one in which you recognize and compensate for differences in the abilities and needs of your children, even at the risk of producing some conflict.

Through your estate plan, you have a chance to provide a measure of fairness that your children may not otherwise have found in their own lives. Consider speaking with your children about their hopes, dreams, and expectations, as well as their worries, concerns, and frustrations. By listening first, you may gain valuable insights into how you can divide your estate constructively without causing jealousy and resentment. The decisions may be difficult to make, but in the long run, your family will appreciate your goal of trying to reach an agreement that addresses each child’s individuality.


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