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Voiced concern of the truly wealthy: leaving money to the kids

Those of us who don't qualify for the title of "super rich" -- defined in a recent media article as families with wealth at the threshold level of $10 million or beyond -- have likely fantasized on at least one occasion what life would be like if we were the scions of such fortunes. How would we spend the money?

According to recent surveys and interviews with many first-generation creators of such fortunes, there is a strong chance that, even if we were next in line to receive the riches of staggeringly wealthy parents, there is a strong chance that we would be disappointed.

The reason: They just might forgo the sprinkling of any of that wealth on us.

What the above-cited communications with the uber-wealthy reveal is the strong concern that many of them have about leaving large amounts of wealth in the form of trusts or other conveyances to their children. They voice fear that inherited money will emasculate their sons and daughters and take away their drive to succeed on their own.

The famous rock star Sting is one such person, recently voicing his concern that leaving trust funds to his children would in effect be saddling them with “albatrosses round their necks.”

The fear is certainly understandable, but sound estate planning can go far toward dampening it and ensuring that family wealth is preserved and distributed in accordance with the desires of the member or members who earned it.

As many of our blog posts have duly noted, estate planning is far from always being about what chunks of property are left to the kids. Many other considerations can be of foremost importance, including charitable contributions and gifting.

A central role of an experienced planning attorney is in working closely with a client to define planning expectations and to then execute them in a sound and legally tight manner. In Texas, a proven Houston estate planning firm can help to fully promote those objectives.

Source: Daily Mail, "How the other half fear: Super-rich worry that their wealth is killing drive and ambition in their children," Chris Pleasance, June 22, 2014

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