Explaining Your Will to Heirs

While most parents choose to divide their assets equally among their children, others choose to leave more to one child than another. This unequal distribution leaves many children baffled and even disgruntled enough to challenge the will. Sometimes the situation may be explained by the fact that an equal amount cannot be left to a special-needs child because doing so would jeopardize his or her eligibility for government benefits. However, the needier child may require more money to support himself or herself. In any case, when parents do not intend to split their assets among their heirs equally, they should either discuss the matter with their children or leave a detailed letter of explanation.

HINT: When creating an estate plan, it is important to take tax consequences into consideration that may affect the ultimate amount of the distribution. Consult with a qualified attorney before signing any documents.