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Spending the kids' inheritance?

(27 Posts)
Magsie Fri 17-Jun-11 09:03:56

A couple I know, deny themselves treats so they can leave their children a decent sum of money in their will. The children are all professionals and already have a good standard of living. I know it's their money but the husband sometimes looks a bit wistful and I wonder if he's entirely convinced!

shysal Fri 17-Jun-11 09:27:19

Who is to say that there will be any money left anyway, if residential care is needed in later life? My brother often takes 'ski' holidays - (Spending Kids' Inheritance), and why not?

baggythecrust! Fri 17-Jun-11 09:33:43

Buying the children's love? Using it as a tool of power to hold over them? Daft idea. If they're independent they don't need an inheritance.

greenmossgiel Fri 17-Jun-11 09:47:47

We've not got a lot of money and we never have had. We brought the children up, much loved, and on a shoestring. My eldest daughter is now 45. She's married with one daughter of 11. They seem to live quite comfortably, and while they don't have a lot to spare, they're buying their house and get by ok. My other daughter, 42 and who has 2 grown-up daughters and a grandson, is divorced. She struggles constantly and I've had to help her financially to quite an extent. Without this help, she would have probably been evicted and this would have been terrible for her emotionally, as she has been close to breakdown in the past. My son, who isn't married, also struggles financially. He works in construction, but with the financial climate being what is is, is constantly in and out of work. I have to help him out a lot too. I try to save to make up the money I've laid out, but on a pension this is difficult! So...at the moment, I'm spending the kids' inheritance on them now! I feel a bit guilty about the money I've laid out on the younger two, when my eldest has needed and asked for no help whatsoever. She wouldn't see it that way though, I know, and wouldn't think I should have done anything other than I've done. We do want to have holidays, and that's why I try to save as I do, though it isn't always possible to save regularly. We're going to get rid of the car, and try to cut back in other ways too. We don't have an extravagant lifestyle anyway. I would have liked to have had a retirement where we could have wandered around to our hearts' content, but this all takes money and if your family need it now, how can you keep it for yourself? If all we have to leave behind is our wee house, then so be it! I try not to worry, and there are an awful lot of people so much worse off than us, aren't there?

baggythecrust! Fri 17-Jun-11 09:55:56

greenmoss, I'm sure your kids love you because you are helping those in need when in need because you love them. smile

greenmossgiel Fri 17-Jun-11 10:46:58

What are we all here for, I ask myself?!!! smile

gangy5 Fri 17-Jun-11 10:48:30

I am sure that my parents scrimped and saved to leave us something. I must say that I'm extremely grateful as we would now be surviving on the state pension. We both worked in an industry which sadly lacked pension provision and didn't earn enough to put some by.
Today, there is little point in saving for anything. With inflation, what we save will be peanuts in the years to come - plus look at the rates of interest at the moment!!
greenmossgiel you are definitely doing the right thing in helping them out now - good on you - you're an angel!!

susiecb Fri 17-Jun-11 11:01:23

I had no inheritance of any kind neither did my husband and we didnt get any help along the way either as both sets of parents had little money but also told us to stand on out own two feet. It was hard we wouldnt have a apreciated being left a litle something.SO having said that I do want to leave my daughter something as I know she is going to have to work much longer than I did thanks to mismanagement of national funds and pension funds and her husabnd who is a scientist is very poorly paid and valued by society. (When he finds the cure for osteoporosis we will all be glad). Having said that its not necessary to leave them everything and if possible you should enjoy your retirment and do the things you never had chance to before. I've just bought a conservatory - depleted my cash but added value to the house I will leave my daughter. I'm also going to spend a fair bit on a family party for my 60th.

GrannyTunnocks Fri 17-Jun-11 12:04:55

I say spend your money and let the kids save themselves. My daughter would not need our money and my son and family are not well off but budget well. I would not see them destitute but neither would I scrimp and save just to leave them something. We managed fine without an inheritance from our parents.

harrigran Fri 17-Jun-11 23:04:29

Oh yes indeed, we spend our money but mostly the rest of the family are included in what we do. For my 60th birthday my husband took ten of us away for the weekend.
We are doubling the size of our house and updating anything that is not being rebuilt, we intend to live comfortably in our old age. If there is no money left at the end at least there will be a decent house to sell.

crimson Fri 17-Jun-11 23:21:48

I try to help my kids out in every way possible; it isn't a case of scrimping and saving so they can inherit something, but helping them keep their homes in this increasingly worrying economic climate. As a family, we're all helping each other in every way possible.

Magsie Sat 18-Jun-11 10:29:33

The couple I referred to in my original post have "ring-fenced" a certain amount to leave their sons and won't break into it. If they can't afford something from their pensions, they don't buy it. I don't think the boys know this and I'm sure they would prefer their parents to enjoy their retirement, rather than restrict themselves in this way.

harrigran Sat 18-Jun-11 10:52:38

I think it is better to give with a warm heart than a cold hand. Nice for us to see our families enjoy a little help before we go.

greenmossgiel Sat 18-Jun-11 12:10:52

What a lovely expression that you've used, Harrigran...'better to give with a warm hand than a cold heart'. Isn't that just what we do, and glad that we can - even if there isn't that much left afterwards! smile

supernana Sat 18-Jun-11 14:05:19

greenmossgiel - We live in a wee one bedroom cottage [overlooking the sea] that we built for our retirement. We haven't had a holiday for about twelve years...and that was just a four day visit to the highlands. I gave up my weekly pensioners' hair-do treat ages ago. Both my husband and I do a few hours work, me cleaning, he gardening, in order to put money into our travel-fund pot, enabling us to travel from Scotland [our heaven on earth] to visit our family including seven grandchildren who live in England. We also do our best to contribute regular modest sums to three charities. We really are very content with our lot in life. Seeing our families thrive and the grandchildren growing into fine adults is the luxury cherry on our cake. We have little in savings but feel extremely rich in ways not measured by numbers in the bank. When we die, our family possibly won't have much to share between them. What wealth we have been able to share mostly stems from our love...topped occasionaly with gifts that we have saved hard to buy. My big treat for this year will be a weekend family gathering for my 70th and son's 50th in Rutland. Very exciting!!!!!!! grin

greenmossgiel Sat 18-Jun-11 16:06:04

There have been some lovely replies to my post! Supernana, your family will be rich with the memories you'll leave them. As I speak, a really close friend of my daughter's is lying terribly ill in hospital. It's unlikely she'll recover as 'secondaries' have been discovered elsewhere in her organs. 'S' is pagan. She dealt with her original diagnosis by herself, refusing chemotherapy etc, as it went against her own beliefs and wishes. She is a very quiet, peaceful and loving woman, who is loved back by so many. 'S' is an inspiration. She has regarded money merely as a means to an end, and buys little, preferring to recycle over and over again! She loves her (many!) cats, and is careful to ensure their health by keeping up to date with whatever outside care they may need. The point I want to make, though, is that like supernana, crimson and harrigran, by being there for one another and being 'rich enough' to pay our bills and save for the occasional wee holiday, we don't really need much more than that. There are no pockets in shrouds, as they say...(.well, if I have to pay my way through the pearly gates, I'm going to find myself in a right mess!!!) grin

crimson Sat 18-Jun-11 17:55:53

We could storm the gates......wink

riclorian Sat 18-Jun-11 20:03:53

Thank you Crimson ---- Shall I bring my battering ram ? . We have taken a different route . We have four children , one was in a difficult position ( financially ) a few years ago and we gifted a generous sum of money . We have made a provision in our wills that that child will have less that sum ( plus some added for interest) when we reach the end of the line . This was agreed amicably by all four This may seem a little hard but we have always treated them all fairly .Each one knows that we would do the same for them .

supernana Mon 20-Jun-11 16:35:10

greenmossgiel...loved your latest comment. A Latin proverb sums up talk of wealth - Wealth lightens not the heart and care of man. Very true...smile

nannan Mon 27-Jun-11 23:18:35

my parents left me money, and it enabled us to help our son buy his flat, and also help with his wedding. my daughter married a wealthy. man and they are far better off than us..
So they don't need our money, my son and his wife are police officers so we will help out when we can.
As long as everyone is healthy and well and happy, and we can have the odd holiday I don't really ask or need more than that. So I hope we can leave them something, even if its only the house,

expatmaggie Thu 28-Jul-11 17:33:44

The general feeling amongst our friends is that money will be left to them and that they will leave some to their children. That doesn't mean that you are to made miserable just to leave something for the children later. Who knows what money will be worth then? Better improve the house or go on a cruise if that is what you really want.
We gave our children a good education, now it is time for them to budget properly like we did. Somehow I think the parents in question have not let their children 'go'. They are kidding themselves that they are in control of part of their children's lives. The mother feels happy sacrificing herself for her offspring.
There are a lot of women like that but I am not one of them.

grannyactivist Thu 28-Jul-11 17:46:01

In the early days of our marriage my husband and I received generous (and desperately needed) financial help from his parents. Unknown to them we kept a tally of the amount given and some years later when his parents were moving house, we were in a position to gift them back the the sum they had given to us previously. Over the years my in-laws have continued to be generous within their means, whilst enjoying a good quality of life themselves. They know that we regard our memories of time spent together as our greatest inheritance.

bikergran Tue 02-Aug-11 20:19:43

If I have a little win on the irish lottery which I do maybe once a month I will always share it with my 2 daughters..or any little bits that come my way....(which is very rare) both my daughters struggle in different ways..my elder (35) daughter gave up a good job to follow her ambition to be (I keep forgetting the proper titel) but its something like graphic designer, she lived on nothing only her grant.. and bits n bobs a could help ehr out with..goodness knows how she has managed her mortgage...she lives on potaoe soup/corgette soup in fact you name it she mad a soup out of it....I did what I could making her freezer meals etc trying to help her out. but she is a very proud girl...and now her graduation will be here soon we are so very proud....my younger daughter (28) struggles as she has my grandson works full time as an auxillary nurse and forks out a huge! amount in in rent....I would love to give them some of their inheritance now...but unfortunatly it is all tied up in the house so we are unable to release it..(we have looked at equity release and it wasnt for us as my husband is a lot older than me..).. so it is a bit frustrating for all of us especialy when we could all do with a bit of cheering up...but I suppose one day! it will all fall into place.smile

greenmossgiel Tue 02-Aug-11 20:29:56

bikergran - I know what you mean. I feel the same. We do what we can, with what we have. I don't think equity release would be a good option either. Your daughters will know how proud you are of them, and they've had a good grounding for living the rest of their lives. They sound fine girls! smile

goldengirl Tue 02-Aug-11 20:34:21

I certainly want to leave something for my children and grandchildren but I'm not going to scrimp because of it. If it's there when I've died they can have it and welcome. If they have a need of some financial help in the meantime we'll do our best to help but it would obviously reduce their inheritance. I know they'd do their best to help us if we needed it.