So, ok he is just meeting this side of the family. Who can tell Will what the norms of this side of the family are if his father cannot do it? It's a little drastic to me to change how you gift him based on a) one incident during a highly charged emotional time for a teenager and b) information he does not know and apparently, no one will let him know. Now he is deliberately not going to be treated as equals with his own sibling because he doesn't know the norms and protocols and no one will tell him? Someone should be able to tell him.
And as far as the title, I absolutely do think siblings should be gifted roughly equal. And especially so in this case. I cannot imagine what Will would think or feel should he find out this disparity between himself and his brother, especially given the back story.
Just as some posters have posted their family norm was to give a verbal thanks, many families the norm is a written thanks. As a teenager not knowing any better, I can imagine many being introduced to a new family only giving verbal thanks as something that would very likely would happen until they noticed or it was pointed out, the family norm to give written thanks. This teenager doesn't have the benefit of having a few of these occasions under his belt to observe (much less deal with the backstory and the baggage he likely has with it) or even a guide into the family ways.