Planning for, and then executing, inheritances is often fraught with emotion.
Most families choose to leave the inheritance “to my children in equal shares, per stirpes.” Per stirpes is Latin meaning “by the roots” so that if a child dies before the parent, their share goes to their children (if any) in equal shares. If there are no children, then generally the inheritance is disregarded and their share goes to their surviving siblings in equal shares.
What about gifts to grandchildren? Let’s say one child has five children and the other has two children — seven grandchildren altogether. When a significant gift is given to grandchildren equally, it is not uncommon for the child with two children to say “well it was my brother’s choice to have five children, why do I have to pay for it?” Good estate planning also looks at inheritances from the heirs’ point of view as well.