How should you treat your adult children in your will?

As you plan your estate, you may stumble while deciding how much and what to leave your adult children in terms of your assets. Maybe one child is more financially responsible than the other, or you have a child who cut you out of her or his life.

Use Kiplinger’s insights on splitting your assets. Give yourself peace of mind while taking care of your loved ones.

Consider financial health 

When deciding how much to leave your kids, think about their individual financial situations. If your unmarried son has a well-paying job and a robust emergency savings account, he likely does not need as much as the daughter with a minimum wage job and thousands of dollars in unpaid college loans. You love your kids the same, but that does not mean you have to leave them the same inheritance amount.

Think about skill level

Do you have a family business that you would like to leave to your kids? If so, think about their current business capabilities when deciding how to divide up ownership. While your daughter may want to take over the company, she may not have the makings of a leader, which could lead to your organization going under soon after you pass.

Decide whether to disinherit

You may not have a good relationship with all of your children. Whether it be drug abuse or blatant, ongoing disrespect and disregard, you may not want to leave one of your adult children much money. Consider creating a living trust, to make it more difficult for the disinherited child to contest your will. Also, consider telling the disinherited child why you made your decision, which you can either do verbally or through a written letter.

Divide assets among your adult children the right way. Knowing all your options allows you to make a solid decision.