Mothers often struggle when planning their estates. It is because they desire to provide for all of their children but come in conflict with a desire to make sure that all of their children are taken care of adequately.
Most mothers worry about their children, long after the children have grown up and moved out of the house. Wanting all their children to do well and live well, is something that never goes away. Mothers worry when anything happens that could prevent their children from living the good life.
However, most mothers also know that it is important to treat all their children equally. Showing favoritism to one child over the others, can create misunderstandings and even conflicts between siblings. These two values can come into conflict, when mothers plan their estates, as Market Watch explains in “How should a mother provide for her children in her will?”
The problems can result from the fact that children often have much different needs and abilities to meet those needs. One adult child might have steady employment and a good retirement plan, while another child might have less secure employment and less savings. This disparity in achievement and wealth accumulation may be due to a variety of reasons.
For example, the child with less, may simply have chosen a different career path. The mother might be tempted to give more to a less financially secure child in an estate plan. However, they risk angering the more secure child.
There are ways around this dilemma. Mothers can develop equitable estate plans that give different amounts to children. However, they need to make sure to communicate with their children the reasons for doing so.
Reference: Market Watch (May 12, 2018) “How should a mother provide for her children in her will?”