You can treat your children differently and still be fair.
Sometimes parents treat children differently because one child may have more needs than another but adult children may not think the same way as discussed in The New York Times in “How a Will Treating Children Differently Can Still Be Fair.”
Children often view their parents’ final bequests as a proxy for favor and love. Their initial reaction to a parent leaving more for one child than another is that the parents love one child more than the other.
For parents, however, that is not normally the case.
Instead, the parents view it as an extension of what they have always done and just giving more to the child who needs it more. This difference of opinion about the meaning of unequal inheritances can lead to sibling fights over their parents’ estates.
There is often a very simple way such fights can be avoided.
Before passing away the parents can talk to their children about what they are thinking of doing in their estate plans and why.
An estate planning attorney can guide you in taking care of the needs of your children as well as treating them fairly.