You love your children, and you want to know that they’re secure in life even when you’re no longer here to help them. You have a considerable amount of wealth you can pass on — but should you?
From investors like Warren Buffet to celebrities like Daniel Craig and Kevin O’Leary, numerous high-profile people have stepped forward to say that they don’t intend to leave the whole of their vast fortunes to their children.
Why wouldn’t you leave everything to your family?
Too much money can be its own burden. In the words of Kevin O’Leary, “You curse a child when you de-risk their lives.” In other words, too much money — especially money that was inherited rather than earned — can end up leaving someone unmotivated to develop their own talents and pursue their own achievements.
O’Leary quickly pointed out, however, “But that doesn’t mean you can’t help them.” You just have to decide how much you should help your child (and maybe their children) in the future.
Generational trusts are sometimes used for this purpose. You can arrange a trust so that your wealth pays for your children’s and grandchildren’s college educations — and put failsafe clauses in there that could accommodate unforeseen circumstances, like illness or disability — without funding an extravagant (and driftless) lifestyle.
If you have considerable wealth, what you don’t leave to your heirs can be used to further your legacy through charitable bequests and more. That may be a wiser way to handle your fortune.
Obviously, there’s no right solution for every family, and only you can decide what to do with your estate. Learning more about your options can help you make the best plans.