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Is Dividing an Inheritance in Equal Fractions the Best Way?

You want to demonstrate to your three kids that you love them equally. At the same time (perhaps unconsciously) you want to make the writing of your Will as simple as possible. So you decide to divide equally whatever assets you will leave. Each child gets a third, right? There!

But is what you've done the best thing for all?

Well, everyone knows brothers and sisters always get along, giving each other nothing but loving smiles all their lives, right?

If you think so, you may wish to obtain the services of a skilled psychiatrist. You need to "be fixed."

Equal division of property is one of the best ways to divide a family and waste assets that could be benefiting them.

I, personally, have come across situations where houses and acres lie fallow, the house eventually falling to ruin, because family members couldn't agree what to do.

You say, "Simply sell them all and divide up the money?" That sometimes is what happens. All to often it IS NOT what happens.

Why not, instead, in your will, leave this child this item, that child that item, the other child the other item. Then the three do not have to decide what they will do with anything! And if they decide I'd rather have had this than that, they can do one of three things. They can, later, swap! Or, they can shut up and live with it. Or they can cuss you out for not having left you what you wanted. But that's your problem.

Image Credit » PD Wikipedia Image Tennessee Williams' Will

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MegL wrote on December 16, 2017, 11:05 AM

By the time it comes to sharing up the spoils after I die, I will no longer care! If they haven't learnt to make the best of it by now, then my will is not going to change that! I see what you are saying, however, my main (and only asset) is the house. I can't give it to one to live in because none of them could afford to give the others their share and I won't leave the other two out. So, the house will have to be sold and the proceeds shared.

Last Edited: December 16, 2017, 11:07 AM

lookatdesktop wrote on December 16, 2017, 7:30 PM

I can see this happening. When and if my older brother passes, my two sisters and other brother will divide the estate holdings once sold. That sounds simple but not if I am the executor of the estate by that time. I have no way of knowing even who will remain still alive, after my older brother dies. He may out live us all.

Last Edited: December 16, 2017, 7:30 PM

lookatdesktop wrote on December 16, 2017, 7:32 PM

I dread that day for me. I know it will be a problem. Because, I don't have space for any of the items my brother owns. I don't have any place to put things. I also don't know if I can evict any squatters that might think they have a right to remain on that property once he dies. It is currently a life estate for my older brother to be sold upon his death and the money divided among myself and my three remaining siblings.

Angeles wrote on January 1, 2018, 12:08 PM

Well,.we have just one son, but I can see your point. In fact, when my grand mother died, my mother and her brother and sister had to sell the house, this way all of them got their part.