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    • MSE Naomi
    • By MSE Naomi 13th Mar 18, 3:37 PM
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    MSE Naomi
    MMD: Should I split my will equally?
    • #1
    • 13th Mar 18, 3:37 PM
    MMD: Should I split my will equally? 13th Mar 18 at 3:37 PM
    This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

    I'm updating my will, and plan to leave everything to my two daughters. When my younger daughter got married a few years ago, I gave her several thousand pounds towards the wedding. So should my older daughter get more in my will, or is it fairer to split everything equally?

    Unfortunately the MSE team can't always answer money moral dilemma questions as contributions are often emailed in or suggested in person. They are intended to be enjoyed as a point of debate and discussed at face value.

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    Last edited by MSE Luke; 13-03-2018 at 7:33 PM.
Page 1
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 13th Mar 18, 5:21 PM
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    • #2
    • 13th Mar 18, 5:21 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Mar 18, 5:21 PM
    I'd leave a clause saying if she's not got married before you die, then she'll get £X on top.
    2018 wins: Single Malt Whisky; theatre tickets; festival tickets
    • Gavin83
    • By Gavin83 13th Mar 18, 5:58 PM
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    • #3
    • 13th Mar 18, 5:58 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Mar 18, 5:58 PM
    Just give the older daughter the money before death (soon) and split the will equally.
    • onomatopoeia99
    • By onomatopoeia99 13th Mar 18, 6:32 PM
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    • #4
    • 13th Mar 18, 6:32 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Mar 18, 6:32 PM
    Give the older daughter the several thousand pounds now, because why would you treat them differently based on whether or not they have gone through a ritual, and then split things equally in the will.
    INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek.
    Home is where my books are.
    • ska lover
    • By ska lover 13th Mar 18, 7:24 PM
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    ska lover
    • #5
    • 13th Mar 18, 7:24 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Mar 18, 7:24 PM
    I would give them the same.
    The opposite of what you also true
    • riotlady
    • By riotlady 13th Mar 18, 8:43 PM
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    • #6
    • 13th Mar 18, 8:43 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Mar 18, 8:43 PM
    Yeah, give the older daughter several thousand for her next big life event (whether it's buying a house, having a kid, graduating) and then split it equally.
    Make £2018 in 2018 challenge-
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 13th Mar 18, 8:49 PM
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    Owain Moneysaver
    • #7
    • 13th Mar 18, 8:49 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Mar 18, 8:49 PM
    It's entirely up to you. Presumably you got the pleasure of going to the wedding you contributed to, and your married daughter didn't get married just to get the money, so there's no real reason why the unmarried daughter should feel left out. It's just the way life has panned out.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
    • Dox
    • By Dox 14th Mar 18, 1:00 AM
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    • #8
    • 14th Mar 18, 1:00 AM
    • #8
    • 14th Mar 18, 1:00 AM
    Another imaginary 'dilemma'. Depends how much you have to leave; if it will be tens or hundreds of thousands, a few thousand either way is irrelevant. If your total assets are only a few grand, then leave the unmarried daughter a sum equal to (and explain why).
    • gloriouslyhappy
    • By gloriouslyhappy 14th Mar 18, 8:24 AM
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    • #9
    • 14th Mar 18, 8:24 AM
    • #9
    • 14th Mar 18, 8:24 AM
    You could always put an equivalent sum in a separate savings account, with instructions that the proceeds of the account be given to the older daughter and then your remaining estate be divided equally between the two daughters in the event that she doesn't marry while you're still around.

    You could always give her the money now, but then might find yourself feeling obligated to contribute again should she marry later, thus feeling the younger daughter would be left short, this could be an endless dilemma which the separate savings account would prevent.
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 14th Mar 18, 8:27 AM
    • 7,853 Posts
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    Just even up what you give while you're alive and write a 50/50 will.

    Not exactly rocket science.
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 14th Mar 18, 9:25 AM
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    You can't keep rewriting your will every single time a costly event occurs for one of your children.
    • jaybizzl
    • By jaybizzl 14th Mar 18, 9:37 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    Wills should be simple otherwise you will be updating them constantly.

    % shares are best for everyone - if your estate ends up at £10k and you have bequeathed someone £5k this comes out first for example and the others given "half" will be given half; so £2.5k each

    As others have mentioned if you feel strongly gift the money now to your unmarried daughter and keep the will simple.
    • DSJ
    • By DSJ 14th Mar 18, 9:54 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Stop worrying about who gets what when your dead treat your daughters and yourself whilst you can enjoy it it will give you more pleasure.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 14th Mar 18, 10:05 AM
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    OP, it is up to you, but it would be reasonable to either give your elder child money now, or leave her a bit extra.

    have you considered talking to your elder daughter? Perhaps offer her a similar amount you gave your younger daughter, now, and make clear that she is free to spend it, or to save it towards a future wedding, whichever she prefers.

    (and if she gets married at a later stage, you can decide then whether to give further support, and offer an additional git to your younger daughter too, or whether to leave it on the basis you have already given her the funds)
    • REJP
    • By REJP 14th Mar 18, 11:07 AM
    • 32 Posts
    • 34 Thanks
    Blindingly obvious answer is give your older daughter the same amount you gave your younger daughter, then split the amount you leave equally in your will if that is what you want to do to be fair.
    • ButterflyLC
    • By ButterflyLC 14th Mar 18, 11:12 AM
    • 46 Posts
    • 43 Thanks
    I have an older sister and we are relatively close in age, so if I was in this scenario, the fairest way I can see is to set aside cash while you are alive for the unmarried daughter that would be the same amount as you gave your married daughter for the wedding. I would always say split your will 50/50 as that is fair. I would however put in a clause about the money in X account for X amount of money belongs solely to unmarried older daughter as you were saving for her wedding, if she does not get married in your lifetime. It would obviously be her choice to use for a wedding, a deposit on a house, a fancy car, new baby. Tell your daughters what you plan to do though, I'd see this as fair, but flipped round my sister wouldn't.
    • minicooper272
    • By minicooper272 14th Mar 18, 11:41 AM
    • 2,122 Posts
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    My friends parents gave his brother a big lump sum to help towards a wedding. When my friend came to buy a house, his parents said the same lump sum was waiting for him, whether he wanted it towards the house then and there, or wanted them to hold off and give it to him for a wedding. He chose to take the money towards a house deposit. I think it would be fair to give your daughter the same offer, that way you can split the will equally.
    • arielsmelody
    • By arielsmelody 14th Mar 18, 12:13 PM
    • 22 Posts
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    If you are writing your will, this is (hopefully) many years before you die - with inflation, £2k in 2018 will buy a lot more than £2k in 2068. And who knows what will happen in the future - care home costs can easily eat up all your savings if you are unlucky enough to need long term care later on.

    If you want to be fair and treat them equally, the simplest way is to give the other daughter a similar amount now, then split your estate 50/50 in the will.
    • happyinflorida
    • By happyinflorida 14th Mar 18, 2:19 PM
    • 682 Posts
    • 573 Thanks
    Do you always ask strangers rather than talk to your daughters?!

    Personally I'd talk to the daughter who I gave thousands too for the wedding, ask her first if she's ok for you to give money to the other daughter before you die.

    This way, by asking her, it will stop any quarrels arising after your death, as that can happen.

    Or if you want to leave the other daughter more money, in your will, by asking the daughter who married and had lots of money given to her for the wedding, make sure it's ok with her if you do this by asking her first.

    Is there a reason why you're asking strangers rather than just discussing it with your daughters first?
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 14th Mar 18, 2:41 PM
    • 28,913 Posts
    • 73,821 Thanks

    Personally I'd talk to the daughter who I gave thousands too for the wedding, ask her first if she's ok for you to give money to the other daughter before you die.
    Originally posted by happyinflorida
    Why should the daughter who has already had a financial gift be allowed to veto her sister receiving the same benefit?
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