Estate Planning: An individual’s property and assets — including real estate, bank accounts, life insurance policies, stocks, and personal property such as automobiles and jewellery. This article is about a “child” in their 50’s who feels “gutted” by the way in which their parent has set out their estate plan.
A distraught sibling contacts an advice columnist seemingly out of desperation: the sibling and his/her brother are set to inherit money from their parents (money that they both assumed would be evenly split among them). Surprise, surprise, both the sibling and their brother were shocked to learn their parents would be dividing up their inheritance in one-fifths: one-fifth each among the following; the sibling, the brother, and the rest to be spread out among each of the brother’s children (i.e. the grandchildren). Their parents estate planning appears grossly unfair to the child in question: the person feels neglected, as they are the child the parents often reach out to in times of help. Therefore, the person in question feels slighted. What advice would you offer? Every child wants to feel loved on the same level as their siblings. It’s not always about the money but the feeling of being included. On the surface, the estate plan appears equitable as everyone is getting an equal share, but the child in question feels as though he/she went above and beyond for their parents. Depending on the situation at hand, there may be several reasons as to why the parents in question divided up their estate the way they did: perhaps one needs more financial help than another; perhaps one child has more health issues than the others. If the parents in question were to leave behind more of their assets in favour of the particular child feeling neglected, the other siblings would be resentful of their parents. Feeling undervalued and ignored, the person turns to an advice columnist for help: