Help! writing a Will and making it fair to all childern

(33 Posts)
tigerrose Wed 12-Jun-13 13:58:59

Can you help... I have a step son and our own daughter. Step son also has 2 other half siblings with birth mum. My husband thinks that we should leave all assets half and half between step son and our daughter.

I think that is unfair as he will inherit from his mother too who is reasonably well off and our daughter will not get any of that.

I wanted to leave my assets to our daughter and his half should be split between the 2 childeren.

Any thoughts on this? is it fair ? what do other people tend to do?

Ragwort Wed 12-Jun-13 16:39:04

Interesting. I am a SD and was left quite a reasonable sum from my birth father and various relations on his side (these deaths occured over 50 years ago); I have a SF and two half siblings. I know for a fact that my mother and step-father's will leaves everything equally between the three of us - the solicitor did ask my SF to clarify that this was entirely his wish, & he said yes, I guess I am very fortunate in having a lovely SF who I get on very well with smile. However I wonder if my half-siblings feel that this is 'unfair' as I have already inherited from 'my' relations?

stepmooster this is similar to my thinking. We left the bulk to our 2 DC who are much younger than DHs DD, and therefore have more need. Although we have put aside an amount cover maintenance until 18, and whatever is left she should get directly.

We will then review once all are adults and settled. However even then it's most likely to be mine is split between our 2 DC and DH can split his between the 3 DC if he so wishes.

Turniptwirl Wed 12-Jun-13 16:50:01

I agree with rubyroo, obviously not applicable while your kids are little but from teenagers up I would say its best to discuss the inheritances in your will and explain your reasoning as appropriate to the age and understanding of the kids.

My parents have always done this and it means no nasty surprises to make an issue of after you're gone and make people resentful. You can't please everyone or be 100% equal to everybody, but as long as your reasoning isn't "I like dd more than ds" or "ds has blonde hair and blondes should rule the world so I'm giving all my money to him" most people will understand even if its not what they would do.

Stepmooster Wed 12-Jun-13 16:52:48

Ragwort, I might do the same and split my assets equally once all the children are adults, but not when my DD might end up being an orphan and alone.

I think once you are an adult you shouldn't expect to receive anything from anyone in terms of inheritance. If all children are self-sufficient and don't need my money then I may well leave it all to a charity. My grandmother left most of her money to my cousins but their need is greater than mine. I'm certianly not bitter!

mumandboys123 Wed 12-Jun-13 17:20:34

your children have two different sets of parents with two different sets of circumstances and as such, they can expect to inherit different amounts. It is not 'unfair' that one will potentially inherit less than the other because their parents are not exactly the same and the circumstances are not exactly the same. I really don't get the need to even up the score - except as stepmooster points out where the children are young and there is a need to ensure on-going care. To me, it's like trying to make sure your children inherit the same as their school mates or next door neighbour or cousin. It's just not possible.

And that's ignoring the fact that you have no idea what mum's feelings may be, nor what her circumstances might be at the point of death, and she could legtimately leave everything to charity or have nothing left for anyone to inherit.

Your husband should be allowed to treat his children equally and ensure they receive the same from his estate. I personally believe that means everything you both own should be split in two and each child receives half. However, I can see the argument for splitting in 2 between you and then you leave your half to your child and he splits his half between both his children. Potentially, however, that leaves behind an upset child who feels hard done by and problems for on-going relationships between siblings. And that could work the other way too.

Very difficult. Not sure there's a right or wrong.

Xalla Wed 12-Jun-13 18:38:36

We've done something similar to Parttimer - our joint assets and life insurance will be split equally. Money and property I had before meeting DH (some of which was also inherited) are now in trust for my DC only. DH is totally OK with that.

I discussed this very topic with my DH recently, regarding DSD. I am expecting a baby in Nov, and wasn't sure how to make out my own will and still be fair to the kids. But DH firmly believes that only he and his ex should provide for DSD in their wills, and that I divide my estate only between my own biological kids.

DH's logic is similar to yours, OP. If something happened to DH, all of the kids would inherit an equal share of his estate. But if something happened to me as well, DSD would still have her mother alive to provide for her, and her mother will obviously take her in full-time. However, my own kids would not have a living parent bringing in income, nor providing an education or a roof over their heads - they would only have a share of my estate to ensure their appointed guardians can take them in without going totally broke.

On the very slim chance something happened to DH, me, and DH's exW all at once, DSD would still be okay - she would inherit a share of DH's estate and a share of her mother's estate. Any bio DCs of mine would also inherit a share of DH's estate and their mother's estate (mine).

I will probably revisit this once all of the kids are grown - I'm assuming I will be much wealthier by then and can distribute more generously (one can dream grin). But right now, DH's and my priority is to ensure all of our children can be taken care of and provided for at an age when they're too young to do it themselves.

mrsravelstein Thu 13-Jun-13 17:03:12

we've done the same OP. my "half" will be split 3 ways between my 3 children, dh's half will be split 2 ways between his 2. (his 2 being my 2 as well, that is!)

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