Motivating children to make worthwhile life decisions.

Over the next decade, increasingly large amounts of wealth will pass by gift and inheritance from parents to children. In some cases, the amount that a child might receive from parents will be nominal, but in other cases, the amount may be large enough to be a life-altering event. When parents confront the idea of their children inheriting substantial, life-altering amounts of money, they often have reactions such as:


We don’t want our children to do nothing with their lives because they are anticipating a large inheritance.


Or


We want our children to understand the value of work. We believe that earning your way through life is better than living off an inheritance.”


So, when the amounts that children might inherit are substantial, and parents are concerned about the impact that inheritance will have on their children, what can they do?


Some parents give the family fortune to charity, rather than giving it to the children. Others announce to their children that the children will inherit only a limited amount, giving them advance warning that they should not anticipate a large inheritance.