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Do your children deserve an inheritance?

 
What will your kids get when you die? Do you have a duty to save for after you’re dead?
By Marlon Abrahams

Pic: Dare

Article originally in Parent24
Are children entitled to an inheritance after you die? Did you receive anything from your parents after they passed on?

Most people seem to feel that there’s no obligation from parent to child to leave something behind.

The findings of the first ever national survey of attitudes to inheritance (conducted in the UK in 2005) ‘show that 2 out of 3 adults with the means to make a bequest says they plan to enjoy life and won’t worry too much about leaving a legacy.’

I’m sure the reasons for this attitude (and I found articles echoing the trend in the United States as well) to inheritance can be debated until the cows come home.

Leaving a mark on the planet

As a parent I feel very strongly that I would like to leave a lasting legacy for my kids. There is the romantic notion of accumulating the kind of wealth which the aristocracy of yesteryear have passed on for generations.

But the issue that hits home for me is that I believe that we, as individuals, should strive to leave our mark on the planet in a good way. If not that, then why are we here in the first place? Immortality can by achieved in many ways, from producing works of art to establishing charity foundations or even just simply leaving a legacy of intelligence, good nature and love to your children.

I don’t remember my parents telling me stories about my ancestors which could be construed to have the makings a proud legacy. Which is not to say that some of them might in fact have achieved something of note. The financial security side of a legacy apart, I think the importance of good values and an entrepreneurial spirit is almost an essential legacy we have to leave for our kids.

However, back to the survey, most people with money are saying that they’d rather spend their money on themselves to enjoy their twilight years more. Others are saying their kids don’t deserve it. And in some cases many kids outshine their parents in business and even end up taking care of their parents in their old age. 

A life goal

I have to admit to never really having a defined goal for being on the planet, until Hannah arrived 10 years ago. The focus and indeed pressure to work towards and establish a lasting legacy and substantial inheritance was added to when Maddi and Sofia arrived later.

It’s just something I feel passionately about and have focused everything I do in that direction. But the question I’d like to ask other parents; is do you feel the same way? Some of my peers have suggested that ‘it’s our responsibility to take care of them until they’re 18, and after that they’re on their own.’

I find it difficult to relate to this school of thought because I think if you succeed in establishing the emotional legacy of mutual love and emotional support from the time they’re in diapers and continue it throughout their lives, you’ll be hard-pressed to wash your hands of them after they become legal adults. 

Do you plan to leave a financial legacy for your kids? Is it a parent’s duty?


Read more by Marlon Abrahams

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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