When crafting your estate plan in California, it is important to avoid favoritism. Biased asset division can wreak havoc on an already-struggling family after your death.
Here are some guidelines to help ensure family peace after your passing.
How to avoid favoritism in your estate plan
The simplest way to avoid favoritism in your estate plan is to divide your assets equally among all of your beneficiaries. For example, if you have $500,000 in assets and four children, each child would receive $125,000.
Circumstances that warrant designating unequal asset shares
There are a few circumstances where you may want to leave your beneficiaries unequal, but equitable amounts, such as the following:
- If you have disproportionately helped one of your children financially in the past, you may want to give them a smaller share of your estate than your other children.
- You may feel that a child who has been your caregiver deserves more for their effort.
- Having beneficiaries who are struggling financially may warrant giving them a larger share of your assets.
- A child with special needs who cannot care for themselves may need more financial assistance set aside.
Importance of covering all your bases
To deter anyone from contesting your will when it passes through probate, you should create it now, while you are healthy and of sound mind. To avoid accusations of undue influence, you should also avoid making estate planning decisions under the influence of one child and not another.
Avoiding favoritism and remaining fair in your proactive estate planning can help prevent beneficiary conflicts after your passing.