When creating an estate plan, the textbook advice is to “keep it as fair as possible.” Typically, this refers to portioning out your estate into even chunks for your beneficiaries. Particularly if you have multiple adult children, unequal inheritances have the potential to turn into serious grievances within the family after you die.
However, more and more Americans are electing to leave unequal inheritances to their adult children. According to Considerable, two-thirds of Americans say that in specific situations an uneven split of the estate plan is the correct plan.
Care and relationships are what counts
A big driver behind unequal estate plan splitting is the issue of eldercare. Particularly with multiple adult children in the picture, it is very possible that some children end up participating more in taking care of their parents than others. Many Americans believe that the child who does the most for the parents in old age deserves the biggest slice of the inheritance pie.
Many Americans also believe in treating stepchildren differently from biological or adopted children. That is, many people would leave a bigger inheritance to their blood family as compared to a blended one.
Money also matters
Surprisingly enough, the profession of adult children may also be a big factor in some Americans’ estate plans. For instance, a banker typically makes more than a public school teacher. In the event that an estate planner has one child in finance and the other in education, the planner may choose to leave the public school teacher a bigger inheritance since the banker already makes more money.