Is the Equal Division of Assets the Same as Fair Division?

Aug 19, 2020 9:47:19 AM The MacMillan Estate Planning Team family estate planning, estate plan, equal division of assets, fair division

When undertaking estate planning, many parents are convinced that dividing assets equally among their adult children is the best decision. Regardless of the desire for equality, leaving each child the same amount might not be practical or desirable.

Equal Inheritance

Equal inheritance simply means each child gets the same amount of the estate. This works well when the needs of each child are comparable, the parents provided similar support to each child in the past, all children are mentally or emotionally capable, and all are financially responsible. One of the benefits of equal inheritance is avoidance of family conflict and disputes. To achieve equal inheritance, you will need to determine the value of each of your assets.

Fair/Equitable Inheritance

You may choose to divide your estate in a manner that you feel is fair, rather than equal. To do so, there are some things to consider.

  • Did you pay for a child’s wedding, college expenses, car and/or make a down payment on his/her home? Did each child receive this support?
  • Do you have a disabled or mentally ill child who needs provision for living expenses and medical needs? What is the current financial situation and/or needs of each of your children?
  • Do you have a blended family? Will any of your children be receiving an inheritance from someone other than you?
  • Is one or more of your children financially irresponsible?

A fair division of your estate will take both past support and the current situation into account. It is up to you to decide whether you wish your assets to be allocated equally or equitably. If you’re uncertain, an Estate Practitioner can help you find a solution that fits your family’s specific requirements.

Like an architect, MacMillan Estate Planning takes an unbiased and integrated approach to planning. Our employees include lawyers, accountants, financial planners and counsellors who work holistically together. We are disruptors in a traditional and convoluted industry. We offer a jargon free, refreshing and bespoke alternative to the banks, law firms and accountancy firms for all your estate planning needs.

Please take advantage of our complimentary consultation, or register for one of our upcoming seminars. Phone: 403-266-6464 or email

At MacMillan Estate Planning, our team of professional trust and estate practitioners, chartered accountants, financial planners, and legal professionals look forward to assisting you with the design of your estate plan and will ensure you build, protect, and enjoy your wealth. The information provided is general and may not be suited to your objectives or sufficient to ensure the protection of you and your family. You should not act on this information without providing MacMillan Estate Planning with the opportunity to ensure that it is suitable for your unique situation.

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