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Why do parents leave different amounts to their children?

On Behalf of | May 13, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Some parents set their will to split their assets equally between their children. This is what most children would expect to happen.

Yet some parents choose an unequal split, which can cause problems as the children who got less may question what the child who got more did to get it. They may suspect their sibling used underhand tactics to persuade their parent to leave them more.

Unequal amounts are a parent’s right

Parents are not under any obligation to leave equal amounts to their children. However, if they wish to leave unequal amounts then it is worth explaining to their children why, as this will reduce the chance the kids fall out over it.

Reasons to leave an unequal split include:

One child needing the money more: A child who cannot work due to a severe disability will need more money than siblings can earn their own way.

Parents feeling closer to one child than another: Maybe the parents have not spoken to one child for years. Perhaps they fell out or maybe the child just drifted away. The parents may prefer to give their money to the children they have spent more time with.

To reward children for help: One child might have spent most of the past few years caring for the parents, and the parents may want to give them a larger sum in appreciation for this.

Whatever the reason, if you wish to leave unequal amounts to your children and think it might cause a problem, it’s wise to take legal guidance to look at ways to reduce the chance of a contest to the will when you are gone.


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