This article examines the complexity of fairness in the inheritance process within the context of divorce, remarriage, and stepchildren. Interpersonal social justice theory and qualitative vignette methods were used to explore family members' perceptions of fair inheritance outcomes and processes for financial assets and personal possessions. Findings identify decision rules for determining fair outcomes, including treating biological and stepchildren equally and differently. Who participates, what structures are relied upon, the role of information, and ethical interpersonal treatment were identified as key factors when determining fair processes. Understanding fairness provides a sound basis for helping stepfamily members navigate unavoidable inheritance decisions.
- qualitative methods