Craig F. Snyder, P.A.
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Asking your parents about a will's unfair distribution of assets

Creating a will can be frustrating for Florida parents. When they have more than one child, there can be disagreements about which child has received more financial assistance from Mom and Dad. But when it comes time to create a will, most parents will make sure each child receives an equal amount of money. Is this fair, and if not, should you speak up?

The distribution of assets is not always easy to address in a will or other estate planning document. This is because it’s not possible for each child to receive an equal amount of money from their parents throughout their lifetimes. Not every child will reach financial independence at the same time. Some people graduate from college and start making six-figure incomes right away, while others struggle financially throughout their entire lives. Some children never move out of the home and continue to live with their parents for many years or even the rest of their lives.

In any case, an inheritance should not be taken for granted. Not every child is entitled to one. In fact, only 50 percent of retired parents plan to give assets to children. A person is entitled to distribute assets according to his or her wishes. However, if there is resentment among the children now, then it’s possible that the will could be contested upon the parents’ deaths. Therefore, it may be beneficial to have a conversation with the parents to alleviate any confusion or bad feelings.

For the most part, parents intend to treat children equally, and wills typically reflect this. A will contest takes a lot of time and money. If an adult child tries to contest this, he or she can viewed in a negative light. He or she may be seen as greedy and as a result, could be disowned from the family. Would it be worth it just to get a few extra bucks?

Source: Source: Money, "How to Ask Your Parents for a Bigger Share in Their Will," Donna Rosato, July 8, 2014

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