The complexity of family dynamics is leading to this, it has been suggested.
Many children might be tempted to contact their family lawyers in Cheshire after their parents die if they find out their siblings have been left more than them in their mother and father’s will.
This is because a new study by experts from three universities revealed one-third of parents bequeath a disproportionate distribution of their belongings to their offspring.
Marco Francesconi of The University of Essex, Domenico Tabasso of The University of Geneva and Robert A Pollak of Washington University in St Louis discovered that the percentage of American parents over 50 years old who wrote wills leaving unequal assets to their children rose from 16 per cent to 35 per cent between 1995 and 2010.
The researchers put this partly down to the increase in complexity of family dynamics, thanks to parents remarrying and having more stepchildren.
They said: “Step-parents and no-contact parents in complex families may be less motivated than parents in traditional families to provide resources to children with whom they do not share their genes or have not shared their homes.”
However, they acknowledged uneven distribution of assets has also increased in ‘traditional family units’ as well since 1995.
This comes after The Co-operative Funeralcare and The Co-operative Legal Services revealed 60 per cent of Britons do not have a will.
However, this study proves just how important it is to have a legal document in place to ensure next of kin inherit exactly what you wish, whether that is equal or not.