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    • MSE Naomi
    • By MSE Naomi 13th Mar 18, 3:37 PM
    • 17Posts
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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.

    If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply!

    Got a money moral dilemma of your own? Suggest an MMD.

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    Last edited by MSE Luke; 13-03-2018 at 7:33 PM.
Page 2
    • chesky
    • By chesky 14th Mar 18, 3:42 PM
    • 1,003 Posts
    • 1,632 Thanks
    chesky
    I'd tell the daughter, rather than asking her.
    • stmartinsdiver
    • By stmartinsdiver 14th Mar 18, 3:45 PM
    • 112 Posts
    • 115 Thanks
    stmartinsdiver
    We had 'secret' savings accounts for each of our two daughters to cover future costs of possible weddings or house purchases. We stopped topping both accounts up when the first daughter got married and handed both accounts across at that time telling daughter #2 that she could use the money as she saw fit and it was duly used to put a deposit on a flat. When she subsequently married we contributed to her wedding and gave #1 daughter the same amount of money which she used to pay for her divorce!
    • Finchx6
    • By Finchx6 14th Mar 18, 4:35 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Finchx6
    I’m one of three girls. My father moved in with my (estranged) sister when he became unable to look after himself. He subsequently paid £22k for an extension to her house that was for him to live in. Although I didn’t see him often he always said that when he died he wanted my other sister (who lives overseas) and me to have the same value from his estate before any equal split of the residue, his will stated an equal split between the three of us. Each time my response was that he would need to change his will or make a codicil if that was his wishes. He was taken very ill and was hospitalised, my sister came back from overseas to see him, he mentioned his wishes again to her (her response was the same as mine) he saw the light and asked her to organise the solicitor to visit him in Hospital. He re-wrote his will. He left me and my overseas sister each the sum he put into our other sisters home and then an equal split between the three of us. Unfortunately Dad didn’t leave enough for us to have £22k each (he thought he had more money than he had!) but it put his mind at rest that he tried to be fair.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 14th Mar 18, 4:38 PM
    • 6,570 Posts
    • 8,539 Thanks
    TBagpuss
    Why should the daughter who has already had a financial gift be allowed to veto her sister receiving the same benefit?
    Originally posted by Mojisola
    Yes, I wouldn't ask that daughter, although I think it would be appropriate to *tell* both of them what you decide - whether that is to say 'I'm putting in my will that [Older daughter] is to get a lump sum to match what [younger daughter] had for her wedding, that's why the will provides for a lump sum to her before the balance is split" or to say to them both now "I've given [older daughter] a lump sum gift to match what I provided towards [younger daughter]'s wedding, because I want to be fair to you both.

    I agree that giving the older daughter the lump sum now is simpler in some ways - you can work out what a reasonable amount is taking into account inflation since you paid for her sister's wedding, rather than having to try to estimate what might be fair at the time you die.
    • gloriouslyhappy
    • By gloriouslyhappy 14th Mar 18, 7:03 PM
    • 372 Posts
    • 741 Thanks
    gloriouslyhappy
    Do you always ask strangers rather than talk to your daughters?!
    Is there a reason why you're asking strangers rather than just discussing it with your daughters first?
    Originally posted by happyinflorida
    Isn't that what's this forum is for, to exchange ideas and get 'impartial' second opinions in a safe anonymous place?
    • Cimscate
    • By Cimscate 15th Mar 18, 9:29 AM
    • 125 Posts
    • 137 Thanks
    Cimscate
    Mixed feelings
    In general terms I agree with other posters that the best way is to give the other daughter the same amount or ask her if she'd rather have it in a savings account. However, do people really keep tabs on what a parent has spent. I am 1 of 7 and while my parents contributed to mine and my sisters weddings they would not have contributed to the same extent to my brothers. I'm sure over the years he probably helped us all out, for example he lent me money for house deposit but not the others (as far as I am aware) None of us kept a tally and the money was divided equally when he passed away. He knows his own daughters best and should do what he thinks will be best for them and him.
    • crmism
    • By crmism 15th Mar 18, 10:55 AM
    • 108 Posts
    • 64 Thanks
    crmism
    Will
    This is clearly something that will prey on your mind, so why not bequeath a pecuniary legacy of the same amount to your elder daughter, then divide the residue of your estate equally between both of them?

    That way, fairness is achieved.
    • TensandUnits
    • By TensandUnits 15th Mar 18, 4:02 PM
    • 43 Posts
    • 89 Thanks
    TensandUnits
    I would bequeath them both the same (50% each). You never know, the other daughter may get married or need some money in the next few years.
    • TomBridges
    • By TomBridges 15th Mar 18, 6:38 PM
    • 71 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    TomBridges
    I don't believe fair equals half.

    Parents can't possibly share money out equally while you are growing up. My brother needed help after getting into financial difficulties... I was supported going to uni.

    I would be quite happy for my mum to leave more money to my brother as he lives in a much more expensive part of the country.
    • onlyroz
    • By onlyroz 15th Mar 18, 8:37 PM
    • 14,059 Posts
    • 26,900 Thanks
    onlyroz
    Unless you’re terminally ill I wouldn’t worry about it. If you want to do something then perhaps an amount of money could be set aside for the unmarried daughter incase she gets married?
    • Bellisima
    • By Bellisima 15th Mar 18, 9:27 PM
    • 88 Posts
    • 96 Thanks
    Bellisima
    I would give the eldest the “wedding” money now to spend on whatever she wants. My parents did this for me because my husband and I married in secret so did not have a big wedding do, whilst my sisters and brother had big weddings. I spent my share on a new kitchen! Then in your will you can leave them everything split down the middle.

    I know of two families who have fallen out due to unequal inheritance amounts. Please treat all your children equally. Do not think oh well one is more wealthy than the other so should inherit less as it can drive families apart. Don not forget you may have nothing to leave if you need to go into a home and pay for your care!
    • Sea Shell
    • By Sea Shell 16th Mar 18, 7:16 AM
    • 789 Posts
    • 1,069 Thanks
    Sea Shell
    I would give the eldest the “wedding” money now to spend on whatever she wants. My parents did this for me because my husband and I married in secret so did not have a big wedding do, whilst my sisters and brother had big weddings. I spent my share on a new kitchen! Then in your will you can leave them everything split down the middle.

    I know of two families who have fallen out due to unequal inheritance amounts. Please treat all your children equally. Do not think oh well one is more wealthy than the other so should inherit less as it can drive families apart. Don not forget you may have nothing to leave if you need to go into a home and pay for your care!
    Originally posted by Bellisima
    Totally agree with this^^^
    " That pound I saved yesterday, is a pound I don't have to earn tomorrow "
    • BobbinAlong
    • By BobbinAlong 16th Mar 18, 7:42 AM
    • 155 Posts
    • 147 Thanks
    BobbinAlong
    This is timely as it reminds me I must add a clause to my will saying younger child gets x less than older one as she has had a large loan to buy equipment to help her work self employed in her chosen career. But she will also solely get contents of one specific bank account as this contains the money she has repaid.
    And no I wouldn't just give the money, she needs to learn money management and she can pay back from her business earnings. I simply give a better interest rate, flexible repayments and don't have to put my name and risk (low) my excellent credit score as backer to a commercial loan.
    • penarthian
    • By penarthian 16th Mar 18, 8:32 AM
    • 56 Posts
    • 79 Thanks
    penarthian
    Leave the same to each but give the other daughter an equal amount now. If not you could make things awkward between the sisters and you will not be there to sort things out.
    Also talk to them NOW about your will and your future wishes, burial, cremation, organ donation, all the tough stuff we avoid so we don!!!8217;t upset people. Tell them you love them too!
    Last edited by penarthian; 16-03-2018 at 8:35 AM. Reason: Added more thoughts
    • JayD
    • By JayD 16th Mar 18, 10:08 AM
    • 506 Posts
    • 322 Thanks
    JayD
    I write this with no information as to the daughters' ages or temperaments, but assuming they are both past the age of majority and have reasonably steady lives emotionally and financially I would suggest giving the unmarried daughter a few thousand pounds now, telling her it is for her to put by for her wedding fund.

    Then your will can be an equal split and everything will be fair.

    If the younger daughter doesn't marry, it will still be fair and in the meantime, it can be earning interest for her.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 16th Mar 18, 10:14 AM
    • 2,793 Posts
    • 7,447 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    I would suggest giving the unmarried daughter a few thousand pounds now, telling her it is for her to put by for her wedding fund.
    Originally posted by JayD
    I agree with giving her the money but not with telling her its for her wedding! What if she has no intention of getting married? What if she would like to but never meets the right person?

    Just give her the money, tell her that its the equivalent of what was given for her sister's wedding so that things are even, but that there are no strings and she can spend it on a house deposit, on retraining for a new career, for a new car or for a holiday of a lifetime, whatever she wants!

    Then leave everything 50/50 in your will.
    • Out, Vile Jelly
    • By Out, Vile Jelly 16th Mar 18, 10:31 AM
    • 3,989 Posts
    • 13,575 Thanks
    Out, Vile Jelly
    I'm the eldest grandchild; my cousins all got money from my Nan for their weddings. When I bought my house she sent me a cheque for furnishings with the comment "because you're not ever going to get married, are you dear?" I bought a decent bed which I'm confident was a much better investment than a wedding (oh, and one cousin was divorced within six months). Strangely, my Nan didn't need to ask advice on the internet for this obvious solution.
    They are an EYESORES!!!!
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 16th Mar 18, 11:37 AM
    • 1,716 Posts
    • 2,318 Thanks
    badmemory
    Give the daughter the money now. If you leave it to her in your will it will hopefully be worth a lot less than it will be now. You can always make it totally clear that if she marries she will get a wedding present but not a large financial gift.

    You could always choose when the time comes to give both daughters another gift. Maybe grandchildren or another wedding but that would depend on your resources. But it is rarely wise to treat children significantly different unless there is a very real reason.
    • DPS-2016
    • By DPS-2016 17th Mar 18, 3:55 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    DPS-2016
    I feel like I may slightly be a broken record on the MDD's but again, I think the ultimate decision rests with whatever you feel most comfortable with.

    If it feels right to you, it probably is.

    Ultimately, no one's entitled to anything!!
    • sammy1234567
    • By sammy1234567 17th Mar 18, 4:13 PM
    • 62 Posts
    • 23 Thanks
    sammy1234567
    If you are not treating them equally and they know it, it may cause resentment between them later.
    Yes it's also up to you wha you do with your money.
    Some parents do not love their children equally and that is sad, if the children perceive it so.
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