The boilerplate advice when creating an estate plan is to distribute your assets as evenly as possible to your heirs. This is particularly important if you have multiple adult children. It is true that dying without a will or dying with a confusing will can cause a lot of family strife.
However, despite this being the conventional wisdom, more and more Americans are creating unequal estate plans. According to Considerable, reasons for creating an unequal estate plan include favoring a child who provides more eldercare than others and also unequal wealth distribution between siblings.
According to a Merrill Lynch Bank of America survey, nearly two-thirds of Americans stated that a child who is the primary caregiver for an aging parent should get more in the will as compared to siblings that were not as involved.
Generally speaking, this is one of the more acceptable reasons for an unequal estate plan. In the event that you do have an adult child who is more involved in your care than your other children, this is a wise conversation to have with the family as you are creating your estate plan.
Unequal wealth and unequal inheritance
Some estate planners are even taking their children’s careers into consideration when creating their estate plans. For instance, consider two hypothetical adult children with very different careers: one works as a banker, while the other is a public school teacher.
In this situation, some estate planners would plan for the public school teacher to have the larger inheritance since the school teacher likely makes much less money than the banker.