Are All Children Created Equally in Williamsburg, Virginia


For many families, treating all children equally is the right choice. It certainly makes things easier after there's been a death — there are fewer hurt feelings, and it makes it simpler to divide up money or possessions that are left. But that's not always appropriate. If you have children with vastly different needs, or vastly different agendas, your estate plan will need to take that into account.

When it comes to our children, we want to equally divide our time, love, and attention the best that we can.  And when we think about our estate plans for our heirs, equal division may be the first thing that comes to mind.  But it’s not always the best solution as not all heirs are created equal in terms of their needs.

This subject was taken up by Business Insider in a recent article titled “Not Every Good Estate Plan Treats Its Heirs Equally.

Sometimes you can divide everything equally and everyone is happy. However, sometimes the “even-Steven” approach may not be the best approach in every situation. For example, the recipients may have very different needs, some may be more deserving than others, or the estate assets may not be subject to easy division.

Have you ever marveled at how children who grew up under the same roof and eating at the same table can be so different? It can be as simple as the differences between two individuals: one adult child is wealthy while the other is a starving artist; one child is disabled or otherwise needs medical aid while the other is as healthy as a horse.

Then, there are the other kinds of inequities. For example, one child has received financial help from you over the years while the other toughed it out. The list of differences can go on and on, but it’s worth a look at the selection pulled together in the original article before taking a good look at your own plans and family dynamics.

Life can be complicated, and family can be complicated with it. When it comes to planning for your estate, you might need to proportion and tailor the inheritances responsibly. Be sure to seek competent legal counsel to help you plan for each unique child. You can learn more about this topic as well as other strategies on our website under the tab entitled: estate planning in Williamsburg, Virginia. Be sure you also sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter so that you may be informed of all the latest issues that could affect you, your loveds ones and your estate planning. 

Reference: Business Insider (October 26, 2012) “Not Every Good Estate Plan Treats Its Heirs Equally

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We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
  • Please continue to follow the directives of our local, state, and federal agencies. For your health and in consideration of our team who is assisting you, if you’ve scheduled an office appointment or planned to drop off paperwork and are experiencing a fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care doctor for guidance and then our office to reschedule.

Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.