Navigating a clear course toward your financial security.

“I Get the Bigger Half”

This line, uttered by my younger brother many years ago when our mother was dividing a piece of cake, has become a family joke.  But for many families, dividing assets equally among children is not always the best course of action.  It may be more prudent to distribute assets according to the particular circumstances and needs of each child.  Through your estate plan, you can help each child along his or her unique path in life. 

Even if you want to help your children equally, that may not always mean dividing assets uniformly.  Consider the following circumstances:

Differences in ages:    a child who is 12 and another child who is 21.  While the 12-yer-old has college tuition obligations ahead of her, the 21-year-old is through with school.

Difference in income:    Your daughter is a corporate vice president with a six-figure salary, while her younger brother is a teacher living on a modest salary.

Difference in investment results:    You’ve given equally to your three children in the past by gifting a different stock to each child.  Two of the stocks have tripled in value, while one of them has increased only marginally.

Each of these examples illustrates a need to think more carefully about how you would like to distribute your estate.  While it may not always be the easiest way, or even be considered the “fair” thing to do, you may benefit your children more by dividing assets according to their needs and abilities.

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