Should we leave our kids an inheritance?

Bill Gates had this to say about his wealth and inheritance for his children:

"It will be a minuscule portion of my wealth. It will mean they have to find their own way. They will be given an unbelievable education and that will all be paid for. And certainly anything related to health issues we will take care of. But in terms of their income, they will have to pick a job they like and go to work. They are normal kids now. They do chores, they get pocket money”.

This is coming from one of the richest men in the world and he is not the only one. We have seen wealthy parents refusing to leave inheritance for their children, some choosing to donate their wealth to charity citing that each generation should create their own wealth. They want to teach their children self-sufficiency and want them to learn to work hard like they did.

Sizeable inheritance for kids

Most parents spend lots of money and invest in profitable assets preparing their children for a better life after the parent's death. We never know when we are going to leave this earth so it makes sense that we plan ahead, so that our kids are taken care of. This is why parents tend to leave an inheritance for their family and especially their children.

I am however disappointed by the sense of entitlement I have noticed with some children when it comes to an inheritance. It has reached a point where you will see kids from wealthy families or even from average working class families not thinking about a future because they know that should their parents die, they are set to inherit a large sum and that will sustain them for the rest of their lives – leaving a house for them will therefore create the mentality that they won't have to strive to achieve to attain those material things for themselves.

The fights that arise after the parents have passed on or while they are on their deathbed can be shocking, seeing children fight over their parent's assets is really a sad notion.

Important questions for parents

- When our kids are young we need to safeguard them and ensure their well-being but when they reach a certain age, do we really still need to leave an inheritance for them rather than giving them the opportunity to be responsible on their own?

- Do children expect to have an inheritance left for them?

- Is it not fair that when the children are older you can then spend your money and enjoy it as your children can fend for themselves?

- Are we raising children who feel entitled to what we have worked hard for?

- If you were to leave nothing for your children, would that sit well with you?

- Would you feel that you have failed them or disappointed them?

A woman I know informed me that she will not be having premiums deducted every month for her children; she wants to travel the world and her kids must look after themselves. It is often easier said than done. A majority of parents I know are working hard to give their kids a better life, and thus leaving them a sizeable inheritance. But do we need to do so, especially if the children are older?

Read more by Masanda Peter

Would you consider not leaving your kids an inheritance?

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.
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