Palmer Rodak & Associates
Palmer Rodak & Associates
Certified Family Law Specialists State Bar of California Board of Legal SpecializationServing your Community for 19 Years
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Planning on leaving an unequal inheritance? Read this first

Deciding how much of your fortune to leave to your children can be a daunting task for you and other Californians. In an ideal world, it would be easy to just leave each of your children an equal amount and get on with enjoying your life. However, as we at Palmer Rodak & Associates understand, life is anything but easy – or fair. You might have many valid reasons for leaving your loved ones an unequal inheritance, but they probably would not react positively to the news.

What are some of the reasons you might leave some children more, some less or even cut a child or two out of the will entirely? Aside from an adult child who has done something that gravely displeased you, thus making you feel as if your only recourse was to disinherit him or her, there are other reasons that may be financially-based. For example, explains The New York Times, your oldest child may have become very successful, while your youngest has had nothing but struggle and strife all of his or her adult life. In your mind, it is only fair that your struggling child receives a larger portion of the inheritance to help during difficult times.

However, you might also keep in mind that the child who receives less in the will might take it as a personal slight and might not see his or her sibling’s struggles in the same light as you do. Also, you never know what the future may hold – your successful child may become bankrupt later in life, while the struggling child’s luck could suddenly turn. It may be better for the sake of family harmony to leave your heirs an equal amount. At the very least, you would want to explain your choices in detail, specifying that the amount of your children’s inheritance has nothing to do with favoritism or spite.

Creating a will can be a complex and sensitive endeavor, which is why consulting an estate planning attorney may help. Our page on wills and trusts explains more.

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Palmer Rodak & Associates
Certified Family Law Specialists State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization

Del Mar Office
445 Marine View Ave Ste 300
Del Mar, CA 92014

Phone: 858-356-4568
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301 Mission Avenue Suite 205
Oceanside, CA 92054

Phone: 760-712-3889
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