On one end of the spectrum, there are the parents who worry about their children and what to leave them when they die. On the other end—perhaps a far lighter end—there are those parents who have enough to leave their children but worry about how this will affect their children's mindset. There are also those rare children who, like Anderson Cooper, would rather not inherit anything from a rich family because 'it's an initiative sucker'. To put his statement in perspective, Cooper's mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, is worth an estimated US$200 million and the CNN anchor would rather make his own money.
Why Worry About Leaving Money to Your Kids
People like Cooper are extremely rare. You would sooner read or hear about an heir or heiress being out of control, oblivious to how this affects their (and their parents') image and their future. Images like this are frightening for most parents, more because of how their children's safety may be compromised or how their children's actions may taint their legacy than anything else. But there are also many who worry about what all the money will mean to a child. Like the rich kids you read about in tabloids, will your children lose what it means to work hard, be frugal and wise and to live a simple yet meaningful life surrounded by family and friends who value them instead of their net worth?
Give Them a Trial
Worrying is a parent's job, they say, and this case is as legitimate a concern as any. To find out how your children would react to a sudden windfall should you perish tomorrow, give them a trial. Find out how much you can give to your kids as a gift before the government taxes that money. A lawyer can help you with that. You may also call on Townsville conveyancing lawyers to help you transfer properties to your children's names.
Step back and see how your children handle their money and property. What you don't want to see is your child throwing it all away on parties, a Lamborghini, getting married at a very young age to someone they met at that party, etc.–things that have almost no value in teaching them anything. What you want to see is your child rising to the occasion. Perhaps they would donate part of it to charity, then invest what's left. Or maybe they would use the money to build a small business on the property. Maybe a child would ask you for help on how to use it.
(Remember that, although a child may indeed buy a supercar, that doesn't mean you have every reason to disinherit them. There are many factors to look at; do your due diligence.)
Based on what you observe, talk to your lawyers about how you want your children's inheritance to be handled. For example, whatever a child earns when he's old enough, your trust will match with each monthly pay. There are many options as far as giving your children inheritance. What matters is giving them the opportunity to work hard for their own money and understand its true value.