Family Portrait At Christmas

Parents are concerned unequal inheritances could lead to family disputes.

Recently, Washington Post columnist Michelle Singletary discussed the issue of leaving different amounts to children in a will based on their needs and she received some pushback from readers. She answered those pushbacks in another column which was reprinted in the Ventura County Star as “Michelle Singletary: Will does not equal parental love.”

Singletary’s readers pointed out that children who receive a lesser inheritance than others often come to believe that means their parents loved them less or that they have done something wrong.

Sometimes the unequal inheritances even lead to bitter family disputes.

Singletary responds with a plea to those who inherit less. She encourages them not to assume they were loved less by their parents, but to consider the valid reasons for inequality.

While that debate is interesting, there is another thing that needs to be pointed out. A lot of the problems unequal inheritances cause can be avoided. Parents can discuss their estate plans with their children before they pass away and let the children know why there is a disparity.

An estate planning attorney can advise you on an estate plan that will be fit your individual circumstances.

Reference: Ventura County Star (Oct. 12, 2016) “Michelle Singletary: Will does not equal parental love.”

Mr. Amoruso concentrates his practice on Elder Law, Comprehensive Estate Planning, Asset Preservation, Estate Administration and Guardianship.