Fair, Equal and Equitable

A guide for families navigating gifts, estate planning
and inheritance

Authored by the Merrill Center for Family Wealth


As social beings who need love, protection and resources to survive, we are concerned about fairness from a very young age. But the questions of what is fair extend well beyond who gets the last cookie —and wealth creators know this well. As wealth creators begin the complex task of making gifts and distributing wealth, families can face conflict. The concepts of fairness, equality and equity can be uncomfortable, but must be considered when deciding how to allocate assets.

The Merrill Center for Family WealthTM has worked with many families as they wrestle with the intricacy of how to divide assets among beneficiaries. This experience and knowledge informed our whitepaper Fair, Equal and Equitable: A guide for families navigating gifts, estate planning and inheritance. With real-life examples and approaches to important conversations, this piece is an excellent starting point for anyone involved in gifting or receiving wealth.

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