I'm formulating my will and I wish to provide for my three children. They are all aged near 50.

Two children earn 300k+ and have assets of over two million dollars each.

The third child has no income and 500k of assets. He has an autism spectrum disorder, bipolar depression and social and generalised anxiety. He is under treatment but unlikely to return to work.

My initial will was to divide my monies three ways. I feel this is the "equitable" option.

My question is: Should I go further than the "equitable" option and pursue a "fair" option with a view to providing more social assistance to the third child. This would however mean taking money away from the other two children.

  • 1
    We can't answer this for you, but if I were to share an opinion, it would be to advise you to discuss this with each of your children. The two that are well off might be happy to share with the one who needs more support, and then you have no problem. Apr 19, 2022 at 11:45
  • i agree with @KateGregory; you don't need to tell them amounts, just percentages!
    – Aganju
    Apr 19, 2022 at 21:52

1 Answer 1


You should talk to your children. How would the other two feel about leaving more to the third? Would they agree that he needs more assistance, or would they resent him (and you)? Would a third of the inheritance be "enough" for the third child or do you think that he just needs more? I'd like to think that with $2MM at age 50 they would not be fighting over your inheritance, but I know that's usually not the case.

One pragmatic way to look at it is: how much would you spend on him if you were still alive? You could then set aside that much just for him and split the rest "evenly". If you would have spent all of your assets on him anyways, then it really is no different after you're dead.

In the end, it is YOUR money and YOU get to decide what to do with it. Wills don't have to be fair OR equitable. You can give it all to charity if you wish (this is not uncommon). I have heard of many people that do not leave inheritance evenly for many reasons - some feel that certain heirs will waste it (or indulge themselves) instead of bettering themselves or society. Discussing your wishes and goals upfront at least gives everyone a chance to talk through it.

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