Few people have ever argued that being a parent is easy. In fact, parents face a variety of difficult decisions when it comes to their children, up to and including how their estate will be distributed, especially if they have more than one child. There are different estate planning approaches as to how an estate is to be divided among children in Florida; for many, that approach is determined by whether the parents’ goal is to be fair and, if so, whether they view equality as indicative of fairness.
Many parents choose to divide their estate equally among their children. As part of this process, all assets may be appraised to determine their exact value to ensure equal division. However, there is no legal requirement for equal division.
In fact, many parents may ultimately determine that to be fair, they may leave more to one child. For example, if one child has invested more “sweat equity” into a family business, parents may choose to leave the business to that child; in some situations, this path may be the best option to ensure the business’s survival. Additionally, some parents may leave more to one child based on their perception of their children’s needs; for example, a child with a greater financial need may receive a larger share of the estate. Or they may choose to leave more to a child who was responsible for providing medical care for ailing parents.
Those going through the estate planning process in Florida have several options available to them. However, if there is not written will, for example, their wishes may not be fulfilled. Instead, their estate could be divided according to state law. Fortunately, there are experienced professionals who can ensure that these wishes are enforceable and less susceptible to a legal challenge.