Different children have different needs and different personalities.  In those situations the children can be treated equally but not necessarily the same.  Let's suppose a parent has two children, one who is responsible with money and one who is a spendthrift. The distribution to the responsible child can be made outright while the distribution to the spendthrift can be held in trust.  This divergent treatment may create family problems, and parents should be aware of this before deciding on a course of action.

Situations arise in which one child may have an interest in living in the family homestead while others do not.  A solution may be to give the child who has an interest an option in the will or trust document to buy the home at 94% of fair market value.  The discount would be allowed by the parent since the estate will not have to pay a real estate commission.  The home can form all or part of that child's share of the estate.  Any financing should be from outside sources rather than the estate.

Written By Thomas D. Begley, Jr. for Beyond Counsel an Estate Planning Software Company

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