Gimme that inheritance: Making sure the money you leave is in safe hands

Your children and grandchildren are everything to you. You leave them a nice sum of money in your will and expect that will be the end of it.

Unfortunately for some, it won’t be. A lot of family arguments centre around how much so-and-so deserves and how much they’re being given. What you write in your will can have consequences far greater than you’d ever expect, even if you were very fair.

You’ve seen the movies where aunts and uncles and distant relatives fight over estates but now it seems like more and more, younger people are trying to get their cut too. Inheriting money can be a chance to turn your life around especially in your 40s and 50s, which is why some people get upset when they don’t get their expected cut. But isn’t that just terrible to expect money from someone’s death? We’d all like to think so.

According to the Williams Group wealth consultancy, 70 per cent of wealthy families lose their wealth by the second generation.

It feels as if the next generation is not financially educated enough on how to handle large sums of money. How many people do you know who’ve received hundreds of thousands of dollars only to have blown it a year later?

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Our generation were taught not to talk about money but now it’s as if no one can keep their mouths shut. Our children and their children are becoming more and more entitled.

One of the best ways to make sure your money is going to the right place is to talk about it openly with your children and give them specific instructions on how to use it should the unthinkable happen. And instill smart money lessons in your grandchildren so they won’t be knocked off their feet by some extra dollars in their account.

But sadly, most parents and grandparents prefer not to start arguments and conflict by discussing such grim subjects. Money can be a taboo to some but if you want to ensure the family does what is right with the money you’ve worked hard for, it’s in your best interest.

There is usually one person in a family who has special circumstances and they can either feel entitled to more, or can be given more because of their hardship. This can produce guilt and jealousy, so it is best to clearly outline your wishes.

And don’t forget to talk about your personal property. It can be advised to hand out your sentimental items you no longer use or wear before you pass, to ensure there is no confusion on who gets what. Otherwise, sit down with all your children and/or grandchildren and discuss what they’d like to have and all come to an agreement.

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In the end, you should feel comfortable that your estate will be in good hands.


Tell us, have you ever experienced issues with wills before? What did you do to remedy the situation?

Important information: The information provided on this website is of a general nature and for information purposes only. It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It is not financial product advice and must not be relied upon as such. Before making any financial decision you should determine whether the information is appropriate in terms of your particular circumstances and seek advice from an independent licensed financial services professional.