Comprehensive, Goal-Oriented Legal Services

  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Estate Planning
  4.  » Do all children have a right to equal inheritance from parents?

Do all children have a right to equal inheritance from parents?

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2024 | Estate Planning

Estate planning is a very personal process. People think about their values and their close relationships. They leave resources to support vulnerable loved ones, contribute toward charitable causes or enhance the lives of specific family members.

If the person planning an estate has multiple children, they may feel intense pressure to leave roughly equal inheritances for each of their children. People tend to expect arrangements that give each child equal consideration, and many people have heard stories of family members fighting intensely over the resources in someone’s estate because they disapprove of the terms set by the testator.

Do the children inheriting from a parent’s estate in Nevada all have a right to an equivalent amount of their property?

Planning puts the testator in control of terms

Children do not automatically have the right to inherit from an estate. The situation needs to meet certain standards for children to have legal rights to an estate. Typically, a guaranteed inheritance for the children in the family is only ensured if a parent dies without a will or other estate planning documents.

During intestate succession, all children have the same basic rights and should theoretically receive an equal portion of their parent’s estate. However, if someone takes the time to establish a written estate plan, they can set whatever terms they wish regarding their children and other beneficiaries.

Someone who has run a small business for years can leave the company to one child even if they do not have other assets worth a comparable amount to leave their other children. People can even choose to disinherit one or more of their children due to the relationship they maintained with those family members later in life.

Particularly in scenarios where uneven bequests could trigger conflict, it might be a smart move to create a more thorough estate plan. People may want to add more detail to a last will, including a no-contest clause to prevent their beneficiaries from fighting over their resources. Others may decide that using a trust might be a smart decision, as trusts provide a space for someone to explore their legacy wishes and provide clear instructions for the assets they leave for the next generation.

Those who understand that they control what happens with their legacy regardless of what expectations their children have can potentially create estate plans that better uphold their wishes. Leaving an uneven inheritance can be an appropriate response to a complicated family situation or one’s preferences for any reason at all.