Thy Will Be Done

The distinction between equality and fairness is never sharper than when siblings gather to hear the reading of the will. In the blink of an eye, idealistic concepts concerning parental love and familial loyalty are shattered as the family ne’er-do-well receives the lion’s share of the estate.

Instead of the money being distributed equally among siblings, it lands in the lap of the person who seems least deserving.

While parents can justify such a decision, their children probably won’t be quite so generous or understanding in their views and a family crisis is certain to ensue.

For Dr. Steven Hendlin, ( a clinical psychologist in Newport Beach, California, and author of Overcoming the Inheritance Taboo: How to Preserve Relationships and Transfer Possessions (available at, the issue of equality and fairness is a recurring theme whenever a death occurs.

“Past resentments with siblings come into play at this time. That’s what makes the inheritance

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