When parents want to distribute something among their children in their lifetime then it should be done on equal terms i.e all children should receive equal shares regardless of their gender.
The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihe Wa Sallam emphasized on this during his lifetime with some practical examples. For instance, when Basheer (R.A) appeared before the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihe Wa Sallam and asked for his opinion about gifting a servant to one of his children and the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihe Wa Sallam asked; Did you give similar gift to each of your children? and his replied in negative.
Upon that, the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihe instructed Basheer (R.A) to take back his gift.
The Hadith above reflects the displeasure of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alainh Wa Sallam with such eneven distribution of gifts among one's own children.
The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihe Wa Sallam also said: "Do justice among your children in distribution of gifts".
Imam Abu Yusaf (R.A.) has mentioned that if the parents intend to harm some children by the unequal distribution then it becomes obligatory to distribute the gift among the children on equal terms. Otherwise, it is preferred to make distribution on equal terms.
One should also understand that if one child is more needy than the others then the parents may give more to the needy child than the others and there shall be no harm in such distribution.
It is not permissible for any of the parents to give gifts to one child and leaving out the others with the intention of harm. (Fathul-Bari Kitabul Hibah).
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Ikram ul Haq
Fatwa Center of America
7 Muharram 1432/ December 12 2010