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Money Moral Dilemma: Should I leave different amounts to my grandchildren in my will?

edited 19 April 2022 at 4:32PM in Deaths, funerals & probate
55 replies 61.7K views
MSE_KelvinMSE_Kelvin MSE Staff
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edited 19 April 2022 at 4:32PM in Deaths, funerals & probate
This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

I'm making a will, and I am considering leaving one pair of my grandchildren more than the other pair because their parents have different levels of wealth. But my head tells me one thing and my heart another - what should I do?

Unfortunately the MSE team can't answer Money Moral Dilemma questions as contributions are emailed in or suggested in person. They are intended to be a point of debate and discussed at face value. Remember that behind each dilemma there is a real person so, as the forum rules say, please keep it kind and keep it clean.

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  • edited 19 April 2022 at 4:38PM
    StubodStubod Forumite
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    edited 19 April 2022 at 4:38PM
    ...I would be leaving them all the same / equal amount each, but rather than specify an actual "amount" I would specify a percentage instead as you won't really know what the total value of your estate may be at the time you pop your clogs!
    You may also find that later in life you may need help/support and find that one grandchild is more "helpeful/attentive than the others and you may want to (justifiably) leave them something extra in the form of either a cash lump sum or a higher percentage?
    .."It's everybody's fault but mine...."
  • JGB1955JGB1955 Forumite
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    I/We have decided to leave our grandchildren nothing and leave it up to their parents to use a Deed of Variation if they feel it right to divert funds at the time of our death(s).  My father was quite 'tight-fisted' and it was obvious, in life, that he favoured one of his grandchildren over the other 4.  By leaving nothing to any of them the decision to 'share' my inheritance was entirely up to me. I gave 66% of it to them.  It has removed a fair amount of capital that might otherwise be (in turn) subject to IHT.  A win for both ourselves and our children.
    #2 Saving for Christmas 2023 - £1 a day challenge DONE and DUSTED! £1460£1460
  • SevenOfNineSevenOfNine Forumite
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    Parental wealth aside, do you love your grandchildren equally? For me, there lies your answer. 

    Of course it's a gift, not a reflection of love, but would those who inherit less feel a bit hurt, or understand it's because their parents were better off?  Might it possibly create a small division in the family that you don't anticipate & certainly didn't intend as your legacy?
    Seen it all, done it all, can't remember most of it.
  • FrithFrith Forumite
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    No. Make every share equal.
  • Ed264Ed264 Forumite
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    They're all your grandchildren and should be treated equally, regardless of their parents' financial situation. Treating them differently in your will would cause a major rift. Trust me, I've been there!
  • Poorexgirlfriend192Poorexgirlfriend192 Forumite
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    I would do it equal regardless.
    You never know what can happen tomorrow and finances and life can change.
    What a kind grandparent you are x
    Clara Sais - Vlogger and Mummy
  • GroomGroom Forumite
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    Leave them the same. I know you won't be there to see the reaction, but I would hate to think that my family thought badly of me after my death as they thought they'd been treated unfairly. What you leave them in your will should be a gift to them and not dependent on the financial situation of their parents. 
  • sclaresclare Forumite
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    Do you want your grandchildren to have a good relationship with each other over the rest of their lives? Then treat them equally. Anything else breeds resentment or makes them question whether you loved one set more than the other. And that's a disaster for familial relationships. 
  • maddogwomanmaddogwoman Forumite
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    I am leaving mine different amounts based on who I like best and who is the most helpfull. I wont be around to hear the squabbles so why should the ones that have never helped me receive the same amounts as the ones that do? Its a gift of YOUR money. Distribute it how you see fit.
  • _nate_nate Forumite
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    Just leave the ones you like a reasonable amount and the others nothing. Or do your best to outlive them!
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