When Should You Treat Your Children Unequally in Your Will?

While sitting down to write your will, you think about taking care of your adult children after you die. Maybe your oldest daughter makes a lot more money than your oldest son, or perhaps your youngest son has a spouse’s income to fall back on. How do you fairly split your assets in a fair way that does not offend your children?

Kiplinger has will-writing tips you may find useful. Learn how to keep the peace between your loved ones while providing for them.


Rather than view your children collectively, consider them individually when crafting your will. You may feel more comfortable leaving more assets to children who struggle financially rather than divide your assets equally. Besides money, you may want to leave an adult child real estate property or a vehicle.


Maybe you have a family business to include in your will. Understandably, you may want to leave the business to a child experiencing financial hardship. Before making a final decision, ask yourself if this child has the business acumen and soft skills needed to operate a successful company. You do not want your business to go under soon after it changes hands.


Rather than let unequal asset distribution come as a surprise, sit down with your children to let them know how much they should expect to receive in your will and how you came to your decision. This way, you give your children the chance to ask you questions, an opportunity they do not get if they learn of the unequal asset distribution after your death. Having the conversation now can help prevent feuding between your children.