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Spending + Giving the Same to Each Child?

Should you always strive to spend the same amount on your kids? This recent Wall Street Journal article highlighted some of the things to keep in mind when deciding how to divvy up ongoing spending, but it also highlights how these same issues can come up in the process of estate planning. 

While the easiest solution to estate planning would be to divide up your property equally among your heirs, this doesn’t always fit with family dynamics.

Whether you’re paying for things now and trying to keep things equal while your children are young or making key decisions about what happens to your property when you pass away, you have to make personal decisions based on your family’s needs and the kinds of assets you hold.

When carrying over this process for estate planning purposes, consider the following questions in deciding the right structure for passing on your assets and collections to your kids:

  • Does one child have more of an interest in carrying on a family business?
  • Do one or more children feel like they have a personal or sentimental connection to certain items you own?
  • Do any of your children struggle with managing money effectively?
  • Do any of your children cope with problems like addiction that could impair their ability to manage finances properly?
  • Does one child not have the same economic opportunities with their education and training or have specific concerns like supporting a special needs child?

Given that each family has their own unique issues at play, a one-size-fits-all estate plan rarely, if ever, makes sense. While you might not know which strategies you want to use right away, a consultation with a dedicated estate planning lawyer can help you navigate this process more easily and ensure that you create a plan most in line with your family’s wishes and needs.

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