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Is Equal What's Right?

Article Type: General Articles, Tips & Insights

Dividing Your Estate Among Children

Many parents assume they should create a will or trust that gives every child the same amount, in the same way.


An estate plan based on equality often leads to results that are not helpful, and in some cases, does more harm than good.

One child may be able to handle money responsibly. Another finds it irresistible to waste or give it all away. Your children may be far apart in age or at different life stages. Perhaps some of your kids require extra assistance for educational expenses, raising young families, health issues or other special needs. Some families face the added challenge of handing down a business or farm where the continued operation requires significant skill, expertise and capital.

Dividing an estate among children is a complex issue – and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. That’s why it’s important to discuss all of your planning options with a trusted advisor, carefully weighing the pros and cons.

A planner will walk you through important estate planning questions, helping you find a solution that “fits” your circumstances and goals.

  • How can you structure your plan to support your children’s needs and encourage their personal growth?
  • Should each of your children receive their inheritance in a lump sum, or would they benefit from an annual income stream instead?
  • Should distributions take place over time as your children reach predetermined ages?
  • Should your assets (such as a business, farm or personal property) be given to your children outright?
  • Who is best suited to become the next steward of your God-given resources?

Bottom line, don’t assume equal distributions are what’s best for your children. With prayer, careful consideration and the help of a trusted advisor, you can find a plan that’s more than fair; it’s right.

Download your free copy of “Sharing Your Estate Plan With Your Loved Ones: A Guide for Your Family Meeting” by clicking below.

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