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Case Studies: The daughter cares for her parents, but the inheritance all went to the son.

Should children with more duties be entitled to a bigger inheritance?


Many parents choose to pass down the bulk of their assets to their eldest son. In return, they expect the eldest son to grow the family's wealth, protect the family's interests, help the other siblings when they need it, and take care of them in their old age. Reality is often quite different, as depicted by this real-life case. I have witnessed many cases where siblings fought over inheritance, and those who demand bigger shares are not necessarily greedy or ungrateful but rather protective of the family's assets. Even in my own family, I had a great-granduncle who tricked his elderly mother into giving him her properties, jewellery from her parents, and other assets. After she gave him everything, he refused to take care of her despite the fact that he lived next door to the family house. Instead, he left the duty to his sisters, who were married and living far away, forcing them to return to take care of their aged parents. In another case, an elderly couple gave most of their assets to their only son; their son was a gambler and gambled away all the inheritance. The parents then had to survive on what their daughter gave them each month. Later, the son came back to ask for more money, and the parents continued to give him the money that was given to them by the daughter. In another case, an elderly couple divided their properties relatively equally. Their two older daughters received shares even though they were married, and the remaining land and house were given to the youngest son, who lives and cares for the parents. Everyone was satisfied. However, after the parents passed away, the youngest son, now with his own family, sold the house and allowed his wife's family to move onto the land. After his untimely death, all the assets were inherited by his wife and children. The family's properties now belonged to the in-laws, and the daughters now feel uncomfortable entering their parents' old house as they no longer have any rights to it but are still required to continue to help manage the estate.


These examples illustrate why parents should distribute their inheritance equally to their children instead of favouring one another. But rights must be accompanied by responsibilities. Sometimes, the parents' lack of fairness can lead to family discord. So the question is should children with more duties be entitled to a bigger inheritance? What are your views? This article was extracted from VNExpress. For information on family counselling, contact us at 360 Wellness Hub +60123300415.

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About the Author

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Dr. Lennie Soo

Founder and Clinical Director of 360 Wellness Hub.

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