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Do beneficiaries have to share with their siblings?

On Behalf of | Nov 10, 2021 | Estate planning

The estate planning process can be a complicated one in Delaware, but so can the asset distribution process. What would happen if a child from an estate gets more money or property than their siblings? What if they get the entire estate? Does the beneficiary have to share it with their siblings? Keep reading to learn more.

Parents do leave uneven estate distributions to their children when estate planning

It’s not uncommon, for example, for attorneys to deal with cases where wills name only one child as a beneficiary or as the biggest estate beneficiary. Of course, there are many reasons why a parent might choose to leave an estate unevenly.

One of the most common reasons is the fact that children have different financial needs. What if a child has just graduated from college and still doesn’t have a job? A parent might then want to leave them more money in order for this beneficiary to begin their life with no student loans.

The law doesn’t require estate beneficiaries to share their inheritance

The law doesn’t require estate beneficiaries to share their inheritance with siblings or other family members. This means that if a beneficiary receives the entire estate, then they are legally allowed to keep it all for themselves without having to distribute any of it amongst their siblings.

Also, parents are not obligated to leave an estate equally amongst their children. They can arrange for a sibling to receive more assets, including retirement assets, than the others if they want to while estate planning, and this is perfectly legal.

However, it’s important to note that when there are minor children involved, things are slightly different. For example, if a parent leaves most of their estate to one child and very little to another who is underage, the courts may consider it improper.

In conclusion, estate beneficiaries aren’t required to share their inheritances with siblings, but they might want to do so for many personal reasons. The law, however, also protects minor children from getting disinherited.

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