Isn't it their turn to pick up the check?

Money is great, if only it didn't get all tangled up with relatives. And friends. And kids. Our money & ethics advisers take your questions in their new book.

Should our will treat all our kids equally?
10 percent of parents disinherit at least one child.
Source: Thomas Dunn and John Phillips, Economic Letters
Should our will treat all our kids equally?
Question: My husband and I are having a disagreement over our wills. We have four children, and we'd always planned to divide our estate equally among them.

But our son Kenneth has paid no attention to us for years. We get a card from him at Christmas and a phone call when he needs money. That's it. Our other three kids are a big part of our lives and help us out all the time. My husband wants to leave Kenneth out of our wills. I'm not so sure. While I feel terribly wounded by his behavior, he is our flesh and blood. What should we do?

Answer: Our vote is to drop Kenneth. As you decide how much money to leave to each of your children, there's nothing wrong with taking into account how each of them has treated you. In fact, fairness to your three loving children requires that you not be blind to the love and loyalty they've shown you, as opposed to the contempt their brother has.

Do see a lawyer, though, and make sure the language of your wills protects your estate from any claim Kenneth might try to make. From what you've said, he sounds like the kind of guy who'd be only too happy to take a final shot at squeezing a few bucks out of his mom and dad.

Test your ethics:
3. Agree or disagree? It is common for people to lie, cheat or fake affection in order to be in someone's will.
Last updated February 14 2008: 1:18 PM ET

Sticky situations

Strings attached

Rich vs. poor

Good will

Pay for mistakes

Friends as lenders

The score
Tipping: Is it an obligation - or just an option - if your server was a complete jerk? (more)
I really don't need another sweater/gift card/pair of socks. Can't I just cut to the chase and ask for cash? (more)
I borrowed money, but my friend's son came with the deal. And now he's got to go. (more)
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.