Should you give your kids an equal inheritance?

Your estate plan may be your last words to those you leave behind. If you’re a parent, you should think carefully about the message you’ll be sending.

Parents who leave their children unequal inheritances risk fueling family feuds. But strictly equal bequests also can cause resentment if the heirs don’t see the distribution as fair.

“Money can cause family discord, and you want to make sure that you are thinking through this and keeping sibling relationships intact,” says Colleen Carcone, co-author of “Principles of Estate Planning” and a wealth planning specialist at TIAA.

In my latest for the Associated Press, learn how to define “fair” when it comes to your kids’ inheritance.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 questions to ask before canceling your travel credit card. Also in the news: Think it’s bad now? Wait until hurricane and fire seasons start, 8 types of credit card relief you can ask for, and tomorrow is the deadline to receive your Coronavirus payment by direct deposit.

5 Questions to Ask Before Canceling Your Travel Credit Card
You might hurt your credit score.

Think it’s bad now? Wait until hurricane and fire seasons start
Mother nature doesn’t care about your pandemic.

8 types of credit card relief you can ask for
From delayed payments to credit line increases.

Tomorrow Is the Deadline to Receive Your Coronavirus Payment by Direct Deposit
Get your information in.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 money goals if you’re still employed during COVID-19. Also in the news: A new episode of the SmartMoney podcast on credit card offers, good reasons to get a personal loan, and how to find companies offering payment relief during the pandemic.

5 Money Goals If You’re Still Employed During COVID-19
Save, save, save.

SmartMoney Podcast: ‘Where Have All the 0% Offers Gone?’
The economy isn’t the only thing slowing down.

What’s a Good Reason to Get a Personal Loan?
Watch out for high interest.

Find Companies Offering Payment Relief During the Pandemic
Give BillGo a try.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Start thinking bankruptcy now to maximize your options later. Also in the news: Why this is the perfect time to teach teens about credit, how to protect your stimulus relief check from debt collectors, and how to return a deceased relative’s stimulus check.

Start Thinking Bankruptcy Now, to Maximize Your Options Later
Timing is everything during the pandemic.

This is the perfect time to teach teens about credit
5 ways to prepare Gen Z for the real world of debt and finances.

How to protect your stimulus relief check from debt collectors
Turn that check into cash quickly.

How to Return a Deceased Relative’s Stimulus Check
Unfortunately, you can’t keep it.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Is my money safe in a bank during the COVID-19 crisis? Also in the news: Helping home buyers keep their distance with e-closings, what kinds of credit card relief are available during the pandemic, and how to save for retirement while on unemployment.

Is My Money Safe in a Bank During the COVID-19 Crisis?
Should you be worried about your accounts?

Mortgage E-closing: Helping Home Buyers Keep Their Distance
Changes during the pandemic.

COVID-19: What Kinds of Credit Card Relief Can You Request?
Several options are being offered.

How to Save for Retirement While on Unemployment
Saving for the future is still important.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: For self-employed, filing for unemployment benefits is getting easier. Also in the news: How to pay rent when you can’t afford it, what to keep in mind with credit card payments during the pandemic, and how to find out what you owe the IRS.

For Self-Employed, Filing for Unemployment Benefits Is Getting Easier
What you need to know before filing a claim.

How to Pay Rent When You Can’t Afford It
Exploring your options.

COVID-19: What to Keep in Mind With Credit Card Bill Payments
Reach out to your card issuer.

Use This IRS Tool to Check What You Owe Them
Making sure you’re up-to-date.

Start thinking bankruptcy now, not later

If you’ve lost your job or struggle to pay your debt, you may need to file for bankruptcy. If that’s the case, you should ignore some common financial advice and start thinking defensively.

The coronavirus pandemic that upended the economy is also expected to send unprecedented numbers of people and businesses to bankruptcy court. Millions are out of work, and economic disruptions could continue until a vaccine is widely available, something that may be more than a year away.

“I am gearing up for having a tsunami of new cases,” says Jenny Doling, a bankruptcy attorney in Palm Desert, California, who serves on the American Bankruptcy Institute’s Chapter 13 Advisory Committee. “I think there will be a whole lot more people filing than what anyone’s ever seen before.”

In my latest for the Associated Press, what you need to know now if bankruptcy is in your future.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How states are helping student loan borrowers during the Coronavirus. Also in the news: Making a financial recovery kit to rally faster after disaster, a new episode of the SmartMoney podcast on buying a first home in an expensive area, and why your credit limit just dropped.

How States Are Helping Student Loan Borrowers During the Coronavirus
Find out what your state is doing.

Make a Financial Recovery Kit to Rally Faster After Disaster
Using all this free time wisely.

SmartMoney Podcast: ‘How Can I Buy My First Home in an Expensive City?’
Important factors to take into consideration.

Why Your Credit Limit Just Dropped
Reducing risk.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Can your credit card help you get a refund on a canceled trip? Also in the news: 9 alternatives to payday loans to consider during the COVID-19 crisis, what to do before adopting or buying a puppy, and how to earn more reward points on your next grocery run.

Can My Credit Card Help Me Get a Refund on Canceled Trips?
Your card may have travel protection.

9 Alternatives to Payday Loans to Consider During the COVID-19 Crisis
Other options to high interest loans.

Do This Before Adopting or Buying a Puppy
What to do before getting a quarantine buddy.

How to Earn More Rewards Points on Your Next Grocery Run
Cards are offering more practical rewards.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: IRS Data shows agency, filers slow down. Also in the news: How to ask your bank or lender for help, how to protect your health with a clean car, and what to do if you get a bill for your Coronavirus test.

IRS Data: Refunds Lag as Agency, Tax Filers Slow Down
You should get in line for your refund.

How to Ask Your Bank or Lender for Help
Don’t be intimidated.

Protect Your Health With a Clean Car
Protecting your health and your investment.

What to Do if You Get a Bill for Your Coronavirus Test
Navigating your way through the red tape.