Connors and Sullivan, Attorneys at Law, PLLC
For a complimentary consultation
212-235-1339 718-414-6209

For parents, issues surrounding equality and estate planning can be complex

Anyone who grew up with one or more siblings can likely recall a time or two when you felt jealous of a brother or sister or that your parents favored a sibling over you. Many parents work very hard to try to create a family environment in which each child feels that they are equally loved, appreciated and supported. However as children grow and age, inevitably, there will be times when one child needs more attention or financial support.

For parents who plan to leave assets to their children, attempting to so in a fair and equal manner can be challenging and, in some cases, may not make sense.

For most parents, inheritance matters can be addressed in a will. As with all estate planning issues, decisions related to the distribution of assets, real estate and personal belongings is highly personal. For parents who want to try to be as fair as possible, leaving each child an equal amount may be the best option. However, equally distributing assets between children is only truly fair if every child has received the same type of financial assistance throughout their childhood and adult years.

Say for example, that one child chose to go to a more expensive private school or that one child didn't make as much money and relied upon his or her parent's for financial assistance longer. In these types of situations, parents can account for any inequities in financial assistance in a will by increasing or reducing a child’s inheritance.

In some cases, parents may intentionally choose not to distribute assets equally among children. For example, if one child is more financially well off than a sibling, parents may decide to leave more money to the financially-disadvantaged child. The same is likely to be true if one child has special needs or some other type of medical condition or disability.

No matter what parents choose to do with regard to the distribution of assets, it's wise to discuss such matters with children well in advance of one's death. If parents are up-front and forthright about their plans and intentions, children will hopefully be less likely to quarrel and hold grudges against one another.

Source: New Jersey, 101.5, "Being fair in estate planning," Karin Price Mueller, Jan. 4, 2016

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Office Locations

Connors and Sullivan, Attorneys at Law, PLLC
7408 Fifth Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11209

Phone: 718-414-6209
Fax: 718-238-2616
Brooklyn Law Office Map

Connors and Sullivan, Attorneys at Law, PLLC
880 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022

Ph: 212-737-2700
Map & Directions

Bayside Queens:
Connors and Sullivan, Attorneys at Law, PLLC
200-20 Northern Boulevard
Bayside, NY 11361

Ph: 718-225-7200      
Bayside Law Office Map

Middle Village Queens:
Connors and Sullivan, Attorneys at Law, PLLC
79-43 Metropolitan Avenue
Middle Village, NY 11379

Ph: 718-238-6500
Middle Village Law Office Map

Staten Island:
Connors and Sullivan, Attorneys at Law, PLLC
1250 Hylan Boulevard
Staten Island, NY 10305

Ph: 718-238-6500  
Staten Island Law Office Map

Contact Our Firm

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

Legal Leaders Presents Martindale-Hubbell | Top Rated Lawyers 2015 | Featuring AV Preeminent | Martindale-Hubbell Lawyer Rating NAELA | National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. | Member | Leading the way in Special Needs and Elder Law