Study Finds Rise in Unequal Inheritances

The rise in blended families has led to a growing tendency for parents to share their estates unequally, new research from the US has found. “In nuclear families, you see more equal bequests. But now that the number of complex, blended families is growing, there is a shift toward unequal bequests,” explained study co-author Robert A. Pollak, PhD, an economist at Washington University in St. Louis. “Parents with stepchildren are much less likely than those with just genetic children to include all children in their wills and plan equal bequests,” he added. Researchers found that between 1995 and 2010, the proportion of parents over the age of 50 with a will who left unequal inheritances to their children rose from 16% to 35%. In addition, parents with stepchildren were 30% more likely to share their estate unequally than those without stepchildren. The study also revealed that contact was an important factor to parents with just genetic children. Where there has been no contact

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