Use equality in estate planning to keep families together

Everyone with assets must plan how they want those assets distributed once they pass away. Most people create a will which in many cases could be short and very basic. Many people chose to set up a trust, outlining in detail how they want the funds handled and redistributed upon their death.

The distribution of those assets can create divisions in families that could last a lifetime. There doesn't need to be tension among heirs if equality is used in planning and execution. This is one area where it might be smart to treat the "haves" and the "have nots" as equals. For example, let's say you have 2 children. One is a very successful brain surgeon that makes more money than you ever earned in your life. The other child has bounced around from job to job and really has no assets to speak of. Some financial planners would advise sitting down with the 2 children and advise them that the estate would not be divided evenly because child number two would need more help than child number one, the doctor.

When this has happened over the years within families that I serviced, more times than not, the children became divided after the estate was settled. No matter how successful one child may have been over the brothers or sisters, that child still believed they all should be treated equally within the estate. I agree with equally over necessity. That's why it might be a smart idea to establish a trust. Provisions can be made within the trust to ensure that child number 2 can be taken care of, while also maintaining equality with child number 1. If you want your children to remain close with each other after you're gone, I strongly encourage you to used equality in your estate planning.