How do you think your children will spend their inheritances? Recently, I read about a mother in England who left her daughter £10,000, along with a letter instructing her to follow her dream. The daughter, Mary Tetley, has had a lifelong love of chocolate, so she used her inheritance to embark on a three-month tour of Europe’s finest chocolate shops – probably not what her mother expected.
The end to the story would likely please Ms. Tetley’s mother; when she got back from her three—month vacation, Ms. Tetley and her husband opened their own chocolate shop. To read the story, click here.
Mary Tetley’s story highlights the fact that our children don’t always have the same plans for their inheritances as we do. Sometimes, those plans are silly – we’ve all heard of heirs who spent fortunes on clothes, cars and vacations. Sometimes, those plans are dangerous – children with addictions have been known to use inherited funds in very self-destructive ways. And, sometimes, even the most responsible heirs fall upon hard times or bad luck, and their inheritances disappear by way of lawsuits or divorce.
A good estate plan, including a carefully planned trust, can help you protect your children – and their inheritances – from all of these risks. If you’re concerned about what your children might do with their inheritances, talk to an estate planning attorney and find out how you can make a plan that addresses those concerns.