Must you divide your estate equally among your heirs?

On Behalf of | Feb 2, 2021 | Estate Planning

Many parents in Colorado have the misconception that they have to divide up their estate evenly among their children. In reality, there’s no law that states you have to divide your estate into equal portions. You don’t even have to leave your assets to your children. If you want, you can give everything to a complete stranger. In some situations, leaving your children different shares of your estate could actually benefit them in the long run.

When should you leave your children different shares of your estate?

During the estate planning process, some business owners assume that it’s best to leave their assets to their children equally. This might sound fair, but it’s not always in the best interests of the business. If you only have one child who’s interested in continuing the family business, it might be best to leave everything to them so they can manage it according to your wishes.

You might also want to leave a larger share of assets to one child if they suffer from a disability. If their disability is severe enough, they might not be able to support themselves after you’re gone. Leaving them a trust fund ensures that they’ll be able to pay for medical care and enjoy a good quality of life. Your other children might get a smaller portion of your estate, but they’ll also be able to support themselves independently.

If you’re entering old age, you might find that one of your children takes care of you more than the others. They might even move in with you to help you manage everyday tasks. In return, you might want to leave them a larger share of your estate to reward them for their sacrifice. You could talk to an estate planning attorney about how you could make this possible.

Why should you hire an attorney?

Contrary to popular belief, engaging an attorney isn’t an exorbitant expense. In fact, hiring an attorney could save you and your family members thousands of dollars by getting everything right the first time. An attorney could help you through every step of the estate planning process.