Every parent wants to love and treat all their children the same, but when it comes to estate planning, not every child should be treated the same. In fact, insisting on treating all children exactly the same in an estate plan can often lead to disastrous consequences. However, as this article from The Street points out, treating children differently does not necessarily mean unequally.
The article points out the following three ways that you can treat your children differently in an estate plan, but still equally:
1. Not naming all of your children as successor executors
2. Gifting the annual gift exclusion of $13,000 outright to some children while putting it in trust for another child
3. Leaving one child’s inheritance outright while leaving another child’s inheritance in trust
The fact of the matter is that all of your children will be different people, with different strengths and weaknesses. While one child may love the trust and challenge that comes with being named executor, another might feel crushed under the weight of responsibility. One child might take an outright inheritance and invest it for retirement, while another child may want to do that, but have an ex-spouse or creditors who would seize an unprotected sum of money, leaving the heir with nothing.
Every parent knows that it is impossible to treat all of their children exactly the same. Children are just too different. But it is possible to know your children, to be aware of their circumstances, strengths and weaknesses, and give them an equal inheritance in different ways. Our firm can help you do this. Contact us today.