According to a recent reader comment, there’s at least one person out there who thinks I’m an idiot.
A previous post on wills and giving to kids, from quite a while ago, elicited a nice bit of name calling from a reader in a comment. Here are small snippets of the comment:
I think you are an idiot……In any case, it is wrong to treat children differently, and that can only be measured in dollars
The full comment was much longer, and you can go to the post to read it in full. Anyway, my simple response was to note the opinion that the comment was “kind of harsh, just a bit?”.
Here’s the deal: I think that in a will, there are some circumstances where it can be okay to leave different amounts of money to kids in a will.
Revisiting that debate, it just seems to me that in a will, that it might be the fair thing to do in some cases to leave more money for one child versus another. I didn’t think this at first, but further reflection got me thinking that there could be times when it’s best.
What if one grown-up kid ends up far more successful financially than the others?
What if one kid has serious health problems, and will have major expenses going forward in life?
What if one kid went through a painful divorce leaving him (or her) in financial ruin?
As long as the kids are each hard working, well-meaning, good people – it seems to me that there is nothing wrong with giving more help to the one(s) who truly needs it the most. I’m not talking about shutting out a kid just because he or she is more fortunate? Rather, just giving a little more to the ones that are less fortunate.
I suppose there are some people that are anti-inheritance anyway. As in, not believing in the idea of leaving money to others. Rather, just spend it. Kind of an extension of the notion that nobody is entitled to an inheritance, which makes sense in many cases.
While I’m not a fan of entitlement, it seems like there shouldn’t be anything wrong with helping someone in need more than someone who needs it less. Ideally, siblings who care about each other would be understanding, and wouldn’t falsely assume favoritism. If they do, perhaps it’s their own personal shortcoming.
What Do You Think?
Do you think that there can be circumstances where one kid can justifiably be given a bigger inheritance than his or her siblings?
If so, what are circumstances in which it would be okay?
If you don’t agree, why not?
I know you won’t engage in name calling 🙂