Setting up a will with bio children/step children

posted 3 years ago in Legal
  • poll: How did you divide your will among bio children and step children?
    even split among all children : (42 votes)
    44 %
    plan to give bio child(ren) higher percentage of estate : (48 votes)
    50 %
    plan to give step child(ren) higher percentage of estate : (1 votes)
    1 %
    other (please explain below) : (5 votes)
    5 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    2189 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: August 2017

    Our will is set to split it equally between both of our sons. The oldest is from a prior relationship, and we have one together. We always treat both of them as equally our children, so this wasn’t even something we thought to do.

    I imagine if something happened to you later in life, and the kids were together hearing the will this would be hurtful to know the first child is getting less? I think if I were in that position I would feel like the bio child was more important to my parents. But that’s just how I personally would feel.

     

    Post # 4
    Member
    5697 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    Well, she WOULD say that.. she has no money….

    I don’t think your step kid should be on the same playing field as your biological child when it comes to your family’s estate. Being that I am someone’s step daughter, I would never expect to receive equal to what her bio children will get when she passes away. Or anything even. I’m not her child.

    Post # 5
    Member
    3769 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: December 1999

    I think what I would do is split the estate, minus your inheritence. Your stepchild has a whole other set of family to proide for them, that family wouldn’t give any of their money to your child (and no one would expect them to). If your FI is onboard I wouldn’t discuss this with any other family, it isn’t any of thier business.

    Post # 6
    Member
    3769 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: December 1999

    @MsJ2theZ:  I am a step-child too and feel the same way as you. I am also a mom of kids with different dads and I would never expect a step-mother of my children to split things the same.

    Post # 7
    Hostess
    9903 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: May 2014

    @lolita2011:  I am a child in such a scenario.

    I expect to receive nothing from my step-mother in terms of inheritance (granted I was 20 or so when she appeared, my youngest brother 11).  I expect that anything of hers will be left to my half brother.

    I assume that my dad will equally divide his assets between the 5 of us.  If my Step-mom were to pass first I still anticipate that everything would be left to dad and half-brother with the stipulation that all funds are to be used to support my half brother and anything ‘left over’ should be left in its entiretly to him in my fathers will.

    It is a complicated thing.

    Post # 8
    Member
    4876 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    @lolita2011:  I didn’t vote becuase they don’t apply to me. However, as a stepchild, I would have never even considered that any money of my stepmom’s would be left to me. She and my dad have a child together, and I would natuarally assume that any money she inherits from her family would be left to my dad and then to my sister (her daughter). However, my dad will split the money equally between us 3 kids.

    I think it’s totally fair that your inheritance would go 100% to your child. However, I’m not totally sure I’m in agreement that your shared estate/money should go 75% to your child together, and only 25% to his child. If the money is also your DH’s (we’re not talking your inheritance here) I feel like that money should go 50/50 – but that’s just me. I don’t think it’s right for your DH to just assume that in the event of his death his first child shouldn’t recieve the same amount as any of his other children – simply because he has a different mom. Again, I am 100% in support of your personal money, including inheritance, be designated to only your child. I just think that when you enter into a marriage with someone who has a child, you accept that you JOINT finances go to support that child as well.

    Post # 10
    Member
    6048 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: March 2012

    There are five of us, three from my Mom’s first marriage and my brother and I are from the second marriage.  If my parents had died while we were underage, one of my brother’s actually would have inherited us, and controlled the money until after college.  As we aged out of this will, different things took over, who we married and how much money went to college for us, so I think there’s a small amount to be split between three of us.  

    Post # 11
    Member
    528 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    @lolita2011:  I have been raised my whole life by my stepmother and my father.  I am the appointed executor of my father’s will and my half brother is the executor of my stepmother’s will (her son).  In both wills, everything is split evenly.

     

    I think it depends on how you feel about the child. If you feel like that child is your own then, you shouldnt treat them differently in your will. Although I have to also say, if you feel like you should treat this child differently in your will, then you likely treat them differently in everyday life and that can be damaging to the kid.

     

    Bottom line: treat them the same.

     

    Sorry dont want to be judgmental, I’ve just gone through a lot with my family so some personal feelings linger. PM if you want to ask, I am happy to help from a child-perspective.

    Post # 12
    Member
    922 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: April 2014

    I don’t think its wrong at all to give your biological child more. And if you and your spouse are ont he same page about it, that’s all that matters.

    Maybe if you feel its necessary, change it to a 60/40 split instead, something to amke it not quite so uneven.

    Post # 14
    Member
    1822 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2013 - Pavilion overlooking golf course scenery, reception at banquet hall

    Tough question… I can see the first child feeling like his/her dad favored the new child more with such a wide split. And if he’s dead, there’s no chance to explain intent – there’s just feelings. When my mom died she had some things in her will that we really wanted to ask her about the intent of, i.e. naming my aunt to be my guardian, instead of my own dad or my godparents. I was no longer a minor so it didn’t apply, but it’s still a big ? in my brain.

    More questions to ask yourself:

    If the child’s mother remarried, will you cut the child out of the will entirely because now he/she has 4 parents from which to inherit from instead of 2 like the new child?

    Was your or your husband’s salary and savings higher when married? Is a 60/40 split feasible?

    Post # 15
    Member
    4876 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    @lolita2011:  But that’s not your stepchild’s fault that they have 3 parents. Why should they not recieve their fair share of inheritance from their father just because he had a child with someone else? 

    Like I said, I’m 100% in support that any of your family money/inheritance should go to your bio child. I would NEVER in a million years assume that any of my stepmom’s family money would be left to me. However, I think it would be absolutely terrible if my dad left more of his money to my younger sister than to me for no reason other than the fact that my stepmom thinks that’s how it should be. 

    Post # 16
    Member
    4876 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    @lolita2011:  And just another thought….. what happens if down the road you get divorced and remarried, and have a baby with your new spouse. What if the tables were turned and your spouse feels like 75% of your JOINT money should be left to the child you share simply because your older child has another parent who could (potentially) be leaving them something? How do you even know what your stepchild’s mom or her family has to leave? For all you know, it could be nothing. So now your DH’s child get’s 25% of an inheritance while yours gets 75% PLUS your own personal inheritance passed down?

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