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Should I leave more money to my son who has his own family?

Scorpio

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The Moneyologist: Should I leave more money to my son who has his own family?

By Quentin Fottrell
Published: Mar 25, 2017 10:38 a.m. ET



This father says he has one hard-working son and one ‘carefree’ son



Dear Moneyologist,

I am in the process of updating my will and have several questions about the best way to update it. I have two children, one is a hard worker, has three children and is a responsible adult. The other is a struggling actor and hasn’t had a steady job in years. Their mother (my ex-wife) recently passed away and left them a healthy inheritance so they will both be comfortable. I am uncomfortable with continuing to fund the actor’s carefree lifestyle while the money could be going to my grandkids, but I am conflicted about the resentment this would cause between my two sons as the actor would “need” the money more. I would appreciate your help.

Ryan in Memphis

Dear Ryan,

There are two parts to your inheritance: the money you leave and the message that you leave your children with. Do you want your “carefree actor” son to live the rest of his days knowing that you somehow disapprove of him pursuing his dreams? I’m not sure if “carefree” is a euphemism for irresponsible or maybe he just has different priorities in life than starting a family or a new business. Either way, you need to be very careful about using your will to make a judgment on their choices.

You could see your inheritance as doing two things: supporting him in his endeavors or unfairly subsidizing his single lifestyle. I believe the former is the better choice. There is a financial argument to be made that your grandchildren could use those funds for college too. But should you penalize your single son for not having children? You could structure your will so your grandchildren each receive a sum, but I recommend you discuss it with them first and give your sons equal amounts.

You could also create an irrevocable trust for your son’s benefit. The trust could state the main purpose was to provide for your actor son in retirement or should he wish to buy a home, his health care and any other health purposes, and outline a similar set of guidelines for your married son. That way, you are giving them both the same requirements, and the same respect. Neither son is entitled to his money. It’s yours, after all, and it’s right you should think this through now.

The Moneyologist Facebook Group has weighed in on your dilemma and have come up with some interesting perspectives. I recommend you read them too. Cory France writes: “I think this ultimately comes down to intent. Fundamentally, one can leave all of their inheritance to anyone or anything.” Another member, Mike Reynolds, writes: “Equal is the best way to go. This way no feelings are hurt.” This is your money and your decision. Just make any decisions about their respective career and family choices carefully.

Do you have questions about inheritance, tipping, weddings, family feuds, friends or any tricky issues relating to manners and money? Send them to MarketWatch’s Moneyologist and please include the state where you live (no full names will be used).

Would you like to sign up to an email alert when a new Moneyologist column has been published? If so, click on this link.

Hello there, MarketWatchers. Check out the Moneyologist private Facebook group, where we look for answers to life’s thorniest money issues. Readers write in to me with all sorts of dilemmas: inheritance, wills, divorce, tipping, gifting. I often talk to lawyers, accountants, financial advisers and other experts, in addition to offering my own thoughts. I receive more letters than I could ever answer, so I’ll be bringing all of that guidance — including some you might not see in these columns — to this group. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about, or weigh in on the latest Moneyologist columns.


http://www.marketwatch.com/story/th...y-to-my-son-who-has-his-own-family-2017-03-24
 

nickndfl

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My dad died last year at 79 years old. I don't want to speak ill of the dead, but he was a little messed up. I have an older sister, but I was the sole beneficiary of his estate. He cashed in an $8k insurance policy in the 1980s which was supposed to go to me entirely. It would have been worth at least five figures by now. As it is I received a check for $282.16 last week.
 

Hystckndle

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#3
Interesting article.
" carefree lifestyle " is not very well defined.
Drugs, alcohol ? Or just a guy with dreams and who is working 2 jobs between try outs and is not " getting married, making babies ".
Maybe part of this cats thinking is she is the " ex wife "...
DIS inheriting someone is a big deal.
Ehhh....i cannot type this much on a goofy phone.
Big subject with me....many people think they are " worth " more than others or they wanna issue judgments on who is better or not.
This stuff should be easy ...50 / 50 should be.....50 / 50...
And yet....it never is...
Nothing like $ to make people crazy...lol,
Regards to all,
 

oldgaranddad

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#4
Put the money in a 529 college savings plan for each of the grandchildren. That will solve a lot of problems and avoids a lot of conflict. Neither son should be able to gripe at that plan without looking like selfish heel.
 

searcher

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#5
Ryan

It's your money and you can do with it as you choose. But since you asked I would say to split the money equally among your two sons. Once the son with a family gets his share he can do with it as he chooses as to your grandchildren.

Hope you found this helpful.

Search
 

gringott

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He said they both got enough money from the ex-wife to be "comfortable". So it appears there is no dire need by either son.
Both sons are doing what they want to do with their lives. Why does he desire to try to change things after he is dead?
Me, I would give each son 25% and put the remaining 50% in a trust for all grandchildren to help pay for higher education.
 

97guns

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I also lost my dad a few years back and have 2 other brothers, his estate was over a million and we had $3000 going to the eldest because they weren't on speaking terms. I didn't feel right about it because I was executor and I kept hounding him to make it equal, very close to his passing he made the change but by that time he was already in very bad shape and the eldest started hanging around again.

Now that same brother has his eyeballs set dead center on moms estate, already asking if he could put his share of it into his own living trust, makes my stomach upset
 

97guns

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I've seen some real sleaze bags come out of the woodwork for an inheritance
 

pitw

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Kids are entitled to being brought up until they are on their own just like a magpie. Spend the money yourself on things you may want. Why do people think they must change their offsprings life with material stuff like money? Everyone is born with a life to lead and should figure out for themselves how that will be done.
 

GOLDBRIX

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He said they both got enough money from the ex-wife to be "comfortable". So it appears there is no dire need by either son.
Both sons are doing what they want to do with their lives. Why does he desire to try to change things after he is dead?
Me, I would give each son 25% and put the remaining 50% in a trust for all grandchildren to help pay for higher education.
PITW - "Kids are entitled to being brought up until they are on their own just like a magpie. Spend the money yourself on things you may want. Why do people think they must change their offsprings life with material stuff like money? Everyone is born with a life to lead and should figure out for themselves how that will be done".


Proverbs 13:22 "A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.
 
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searcher

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Proverbs 13:22 "A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.
Like the part about the inheritance but unfortunately the second part really isn't holding true on planet earth. Especially here in the U.S.

The last Bush gave the wealth of the just to the sinner. So did Obama. In the first case Bush rewarded lying, conniving and thieving banksters for stealing. Then Obama rewarded insurance companies by making it mandatory you buy their products or face a tax.
 

pitw

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PITW - "Kids are entitled to being brought up until they are on their own just like a magpie. Spend the money yourself on things you may want. Why do people think they must change their offsprings life with material stuff like money? Everyone is born with a life to lead and should figure out for themselves how that will be done".


Proverbs 13:22 "A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.
Never have seen a magpie that had a place of worship. That is another human indulgence.
 

GOLDBRIX

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....The last Bush gave the wealth of the just to the sinner. So did Obama. In the first case Bush rewarded lying, conniving and thieving banksters for stealing. Then Obama rewarded insurance companies by making it mandatory you buy their products or face a tax.
No one said "governors" ( used in the most general sense) were righteous leaders. Even Jesus said "Render Unto Caesar that which is Caesar's.
We are not to use .gov as a standard to live by, As The Lust for Money is the Root of All Evil. Especially here in the USA - We the People should make .gov more responsible for their actions.

Never have seen a magpie that had a place of worship
Never wanted to live my life as that of a magpie or any other beast that GOD gave Man DOMINION OVER. We are to be better than the beasts and "husband" (Archaic Def.- a prudent or frugal manager) over them.
Man is to be SUPERIOR to the birds, beast of the Earth and fish of the seas.

"I saw a magpie do it so I thought I'd live my life by what that magpie does " ( WTH ?) Is that a way to live ?