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Inheritance – How mad will you be if you get nothing?

Home Estate Planning Inheritance – How mad will you be if you get nothing?

  • Donnie Donnie 
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    @q-school: do you think it would be moral for your dad to give your inheritance to your sibling if you did something he didn’t like? I say no. To me, leaving your money to your family is itself an act of love. Why? Because they could leave it to anyone but people typically pick their family because those are the people who matter most to them. All else being equal, withholding inheritance from a child based on the choices they make (assuming they’re legal and they’re not involved in human trafficking or whatnot) implies that you value one over the other. In this scenario, if one of Dave’s kids converts to Judaism and one is Christian, I think it’d be immoral of him to give his inheritance to the Christian.

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    You are making a distinction here because you have a different world view than Dave.  I suspect if the child were engaged in something you viewed as self destructive, and the inheritance would fuel that self-destructive behavior, you wouldn’t have the same issue with cutting that child out of the inheritance.

    #58525 Reply
    Avatar jhwkr542 
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    Even if I viewed it as self-destructive (?drugs), as long as it wasn’t an immoral thing my child was involved in, I would not leave them out of my inheritance.

    #58528 Reply
    q-school q-school 
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    How is it my inheritance? It’s my parents money. They worked for it. They ‘own’ it. They could blow it on clothes or art or cars. They could give it away. They may spend it all on nursing home upgrades. Is it really withholding or just gifting differently? There are other ways to show your love besides money. I think most of us fear that money will get in the way of our children being productive members of society or encourage bad decision making.

    Thanks for continuing the discussion
    Ymmv

    #58539 Reply
    Avatar jhwkr542 
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    My argument isn’t about how Dave is spending his inheritance. He could spend it on hookers and blow for all I care. It’s when he’s choosing to give it to his kids but leaves one out based on how he views their life choices. He’s valuing those kids he agrees with and by way of his selective inheritance he’s valuing his children differently. That’s what I think is wrong. He’s free to do it, I just find it objectionable.

    #58550 Reply
    Miss Bonnie MD Miss Bonnie MD 
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    Their (parent’s money), so they can do whatever they want.

    My parents told me how the money will be split up, more going to my brother since he “needs it more.” I don’t really care even tho I think that is faulty logic and enabling IMO.

    "Being rich is having money; being wealthy is having time."

    Miss Bonnie MD --> Wealthy Mom MD @ http://wealthymommd.com

    #58559 Reply
    Liked by Vagabond MD
    Vagabond MD Vagabond MD 
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    Their (parent’s money), so they can do whatever they want.

    My parents told me how the money will be split up, more going to my brother since he “needs it more.” I don’t really care even tho I think that is faulty logic and enabling IMO.

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    I got the same from my father (60:40 in favor of my sister) with the additional proviso that if my sister, who is single and has had serious psychiatric issues in the past but is now doing fine, needs more help once he is gone, I should use my share to do so.

    For me it’s all bonus, so “whatever”.

    "Wealth is the slave of the wise man and the master of the fool.” -Seneca the Younger

    #58563 Reply
    Avatar StarTrekDoc 
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    I wonder how the progidal son’s dad would respond in modern times.

    Would he give the son’s full inheritance without restrictions and allow him to blow it all? Or would he put it in a trust with stipulations for use and withdrawal?

    We certainly have restrictions on our trust.

    #58565 Reply
    Donnie Donnie 
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    Generally, I think it is a shame to let inheritance cause issues within a family.  I really can’t control how my parents divide up their assets.  Even if I could influence their decision, my motives could be viewed as self serving, so any attempt to influence would have the potential to cause problems.  What I do have control over is my own actions and expectations.  If I expect nothing, I can’t be upset no matter what happens.

    Even if I viewed it as self-destructive (?drugs), as long as it wasn’t an immoral thing my child was involved in, I would not leave them out of my inheritance.

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    This is exactly what Dave is doing.  Religion is a moral thing in Dave’s view.  You just find Dave’s sense of morality objectionable.

    #58569 Reply
    Liked by q-school
    Avatar SwanSong 
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    Whatever you want to call it, he’s still putting conditions on his financial support that urges them to live a certain way. That’s immoral in my opinion.

    I pretty adamantly disagree.  If someone is errant in their ways, including rejecting the singular most important aspect of one’s life or in terms of using illicit substances, I see no reason to prop up that lifestyle with financial resources.  It opens the door to filling emptiness with hedonic waste.  No thanks.  One may argue how well this fits in with the story of the prodigal son, though I am not a big believe in enabling bad behavior, beliefs, or choices.

    I personally expect nothing from my parents, though I have been told it is offered.  I’d rather honor my parents, and anything that they leave is a nice gift, an after-thought.  I do not wish to know how much was left to my siblings, either.  Jealousy is such a waste of time and emotional energy.

    #58587 Reply
    MPMD MPMD 
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    Whatever you want to call it, he’s still putting conditions on his financial support that urges them to live a certain way. That’s immoral in my opinion.

    I pretty adamantly disagree.  If someone is errant in their ways, including rejecting the singular most important aspect of one’s life or in terms of using illicit substances, I see no reason to prop up that lifestyle with financial resources.  It opens the door to filling emptiness with hedonic waste.  No thanks.  One may argue how well this fits in with the story of the prodigal son, though I am not a big believe in enabling bad behavior, beliefs, or choices.

    I personally expect nothing from my parents, though I have been told it is offered.  I’d rather honor my parents, and anything that they leave is a nice gift, an after-thought.  I do not wish to know how much was left to my siblings, either.  Jealousy is such a waste of time and emotional energy.

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    once again we’re talking about expectations which is not the issue.

    i don’t think you’d find many on this forum who think it’s cool to expect your parents to leave you a bunch of money.

    the issue is that when you are worth tens of millions of dollars and leave your kids NOTHING that is a pretty profound statement and one that would impact the relationship/memory. obviously parents are allowed to do whatever the hell they want. i just don’t buy the implication of some on this thread that they would just shrug in this scenario.

    people are free to do whatever they want. you can have kids and say “the second you turn 18 you not my problem.” you can suddenly stop talking to your kids when they hit 25 and never communicate with them again. i just think the ethical impact of these decisions change when you have considerable means and are attempting to dictate the inner spiritual life of your kids. if you truly believe that your kids will go to hell if they reject your church then logically you should be doing a bunch of stuff other than running a radio show.

    #58633 Reply
    Donnie Donnie 
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    i don’t think you’d find many on this forum who think it’s cool to expect your parents to leave you a bunch of money.

    the issue is that when you are worth tens of millions of dollars and leave your kids NOTHING that is a pretty profound statement and one that would impact the relationship/memory. obviously parents are allowed to do whatever the hell they want. i just don’t buy the implication of some on this thread that they would just shrug in this scenario.

    people are free to do whatever they want. you can have kids and say “the second you turn 18 you not my problem.” you can suddenly stop talking to your kids when they hit 25 and never communicate with them again. i just think the ethical impact of these decisions change when you have considerable means and are attempting to dictate the inner spiritual life of your kids. if you truly believe that your kids will go to hell if they reject your church then logically you should be doing a bunch of stuff other than running a radio show.

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    Presumably you believe there is something wrong that Dave’s kids could do that would result in it being ok to cut the kids out of the will.  Maybe for you, that’s becoming a serial killer or human trafficker as one poster put it, I don’t know.  Once you establish that there are indeed some stipulations you would impose in your own situation, it becomes ridiculous to judge another family and how they set their own moral boundaries.

    This whole line of thought is PC run amok.  Everyone’s the same.  Everyone’s entitled to their fair and, by definition, pro rata share.  Everyone must have the same libertarian sense of morality, even inside their own home.  Disagreeing with someone’s sense of morality, doesn’t necessarily make that person brutal or terrible.

    Stopping communications with your kids or cutting off all forms of support at 18 are straw men and have nothing to do with imposing some stipulations on handing over a sum of money to your children upon your death. The amount of money at stake is irrelevant if the kids don’t have a sense of entitlement and don’t expect to receive that money.  Especially in a high earners forum, we should try to promote the notion that with hard work, savings, and self reliance you can become wealthy without waiting for someone to hand you a sack of cash one day.

     

     

    #58637 Reply
    Avatar jhwkr542 
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    Presumably you believe there is something wrong that Dave’s kids could do that would result in it being ok to cut the kids out of the will.  Maybe for you, that’s becoming a serial killer or human trafficker as one poster put it, I don’t know.  Once you establish that there are indeed some stipulations you would impose in your own situation, it becomes ridiculous to judge another family and how they set their own moral boundaries.

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    This is a logical fallacy (slippery slope in a way). Certain things are morally objectionable that we all agree on.  Certain things are not morally objectionable that we all agree on.  One person’s own idea of morality does not equate to morality.  If one person believes murder is ok, that doesn’t mean we have to accept that person’s morality.  Morality is not arbitrary.  This also means that you CAN judge other people’s reasons for leaving one child out of a will.  The issue here boils down to differential treatment of children with respect to inheritance.

    Common sense morality would say (all else being equal) that you treat your children equally, and therefore if you leave some of your inheritance to your kids, you need to leave them with equal amounts.  If there is a rational reason to dividing it up evenly, then that’s ok.  If a parent feels one child needs money more and that they’ll use the money for good use, then that’s ok.  If one child is involved in immoral behavior and the parent feels their money would go towards that thing they find immoral, then that’s ok.  If one child likes hotdogs and the parent is offended by that, then that’s not ok to treat them differently than the other kids.  From the OP’s provided info, Dave believes being any religion other than Christian is immoral.  I hope most people would find this objectionable, but I don’t want to start a discussion on religion.  Dave is likely breaking the golden rule.  If his parents were any religion besides Christianity, I find it hard to believe he’d be ok with his parents withholding a multimillion dollar inheritance because he’s Christian.  It sounds like he’s bribing his kids to be Christian.

    #58644 Reply
    Donnie Donnie 
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    Presumably you believe there is something wrong that Dave’s kids could do that would result in it being ok to cut the kids out of the will.  Maybe for you, that’s becoming a serial killer or human trafficker as one poster put it, I don’t know.  Once you establish that there are indeed some stipulations you would impose in your own situation, it becomes ridiculous to judge another family and how they set their own moral boundaries.

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    This is a logical fallacy (slippery slope in a way). Certain things are morally objectionable that we all agree on.  Certain things are not morally objectionable that we all agree on.  One person’s own idea of morality does not equate to morality.  If one person believes murder is ok, that doesn’t mean we have to accept that person’s morality.  Morality is not arbitrary.  This also means that you CAN judge other people’s reasons for leaving one child out of a will.  The issue here boils down to differential treatment of children with respect to inheritance.

    Common sense morality would say (all else being equal) that you treat your children equally, and therefore if you leave some of your inheritance to your kids, you need to leave them with equal amounts.  If there is a rational reason to dividing it up evenly, then that’s ok.  If a parent feels one child needs money more and that they’ll use the money for good use, then that’s ok.  If one child is involved in immoral behavior and the parent feels their money would go towards that thing they find immoral, then that’s ok.  If one child likes hotdogs and the parent is offended by that, then that’s not ok to treat them differently than the other kids.  From the OP’s provided info, Dave believes being any religion other than Christian is immoral.  I hope most people would find this objectionable, but I don’t want to start a discussion on religion.  Dave is likely breaking the golden rule.  If his parents were any religion besides Christianity, I find it hard to believe he’d be ok with his parents withholding a multimillion dollar inheritance because he’s Christian.  It sounds like he’s bribing his kids to be Christian.

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    No, it’s not a slippery slope fallacy.  My principle is that the money is mine and I can do what I want with it.  My principle is that a child should not expect any inheritance since the money was not earned by the child and the child has no claim to it.  These are solid principles with no room for interpretation or slippery slopes.

    Your principle is that the money should be equally divided among heirs subject to certain arbitrary provisions.  Your principle is that if my arbitrary morality provisions are different from yours, I am likely a bad person.  These are the slippery slopes.

    We are not talking about whether murder is moral (an external, illegal action which causes demonstrable harm to another person, i.e. a clear bright line in morality).  We are talking about whether it is morally acceptable to cut out a murder from your will.  That is a nuanced difference.  If cutting out a murderer from your will is the right thing to do, then leaving a murderer in your will must be the wrong thing to do.  Is that what you are saying?

    Again, we are talking about what I do with my own money.  If you are a libertarian, which I assume you are, then you should support my right to do whatever I want with my possessions if it makes me happy and does not actively harm another person’s freedom of action.

    If I think it is better to give more money to one child than another, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  I earned it, and it doesn’t mean I love one child more than another.  That’s the fallacy in your argument.  It is only morally acceptable to love each child the same.  You can only love each child the same if you give them the same amount of inheritance, subject to some universally accepted moral conditions.

     

     

    #58656 Reply
    Avatar StarTrekDoc 
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    @ Donnie – the state tends to disagree with you.  Unless specified, inheritance is the right of the progeny by default.  If you left no will or trust, then the state will divide evenly based on relations (minus debt owed—-none of course!)

    To alter that from one’s assertions is starting the cut off and ‘slippery slope’ if one will.   That’s why it’s interesting in the Prodigal son’s case on inheritance early and the continued celebration of the father.   Unfortunately, there’s no interim story on whether dad cut son off completely (or vice versa) and the after story upon his return since the son blew his portion of the inheritance already.

    It does make me wonder about our own Trust fund ‘restrictions’ that we have for the kids on the funds designated usage over time and release (ultimately no ‘moral clause’ restrictions on release at age 30, but education support releases until then)

    #59521 Reply
    Donnie Donnie 
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    @ Donnie – the state tends to disagree with you.  Unless specified, inheritance is the right of the progeny by default.  If you left no will or trust, then the state will divide evenly based on relations (minus debt owed—-none of course!)

    To alter that from one’s assertions is starting the cut off and ‘slippery slope’ if one will.   That’s why it’s interesting in the Prodigal son’s case on inheritance early and the continued celebration of the father.   Unfortunately, there’s no interim story on whether dad cut son off completely (or vice versa) and the after story upon his return since the son blew his portion of the inheritance already.

    It does make me wonder about our own Trust fund ‘restrictions’ that we have for the kids on the funds designated usage over time and release (ultimately no ‘moral clause’ restrictions on release at age 30, but education support releases until then)

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    You must not have read too many of my prior posts!

    First, I plan to die with a massive mortgage (if not other debt as well!), using the proceeds from such tax-advantaged debt to invest in low cost index funds in my taxable account. 😛

    Second, if I ever start looking to state policy for moral guidance, I will give you the authority to change my will to whatever you want it to say.

    My view here is not based on the prodigal son or other biblical principles regarding inheritance.  Although it could be an interesting discussion, for the purpose of this debate, I don’t really care whether Dave Ramsey is adhering to the teachings of Christianity.  My points are broader.  Namely (i) that you should be able to put restrictions and generally do whatever you want with your money, (ii) that putting restrictions on how your own money is divided upon your death is not somehow wrong or immoral, and (iii) that your kids should be raised so as not to view their parents’ money as theirs and not to equate money with love.

    For the record, if both my wife and I died, our current wills would divide our assets evenly among our children, and I don’t expect to change it to include any morality or other clauses.  The whole reason for the thread is that I object to the notion that this should be expected and expected under any circumstance.

    #61001 Reply

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