Inheritance is a tense subject in any Texas family. It can be particularly fraught when a parent is considering leaving an unequal inheritance. These inheritances must be handled carefully or they have the potential to tear a family apart.
How unequal inheritance works
Unequal inheritance is the estate planning term for giving more in assets to one heir than another. It is a process that must be established in a person’s will. For people who die intestate, heirs split the individual’s property equally. In order to overcome this situation, people need to write and record a will that specifically states who is entitled to what property.
They have a wide latitude for decision-making when it comes to this will. People can divide their assets equally or they can provide for an unequal inheritance. They may decide to give a reduced amount or even nothing at all to one or more of their heirs. As long as they properly record this will and are of sound mind when they create it, most legal challenges will fall flat when the estate is opened.
When unequal inheritance is advisable
Unequal inheritance is applicable in instances when one or more heirs have a proven track record of wasting money or handling it irresponsibly. Some people have poor habits of money management. They may spend too much of their money on items, drugs, or vices such as gambling. These family members may not realize that they have a problem and may launch a legal fight when they find out they will not get as much as other heirs. As a result, it is essential for parents to be clear and upfront about what exactly they think about their estates and the spending habits of their children.
Parents also need to be clear and careful when drawing up their wills. Parents should follow every applicable law and rule so that their mistakes may not be the basis for a later challenge. It takes caution, prudence, and transparency to prevent an unequal inheritance situation from becoming a nightmare for everyone involved.