After my father died, my brother kept pressuring my mother to go to an investment counselor for advice. He didn't like that some of the stocks they'd owned had stopped giving out the good annual dividends which made my father buy them in the first place.
We had never discussed financial issues before, but I wasn't surprised that, like most things, we were on opposite ends of the spectrum. He believes it is irresponsible for parents not to leave an inheritance for their children. I believe it's my parents' money and as long as we can pay the last debt from the funds, that's fine. Maybe if my mother were the spendthrift type I could worry, but I've always thought she should enjoy it while she was able.
I can see my brother's point when people died earlier, leaving children with families left to rear. My brother's youngest child will soon be 30 years old. He doesn't need any funds to spend on his children. With any luck at all, he'll be receiving social security when my mother passes away. (he'll soon be 58) Let me reassure you that he's hoping she lives for many more years and is in no hurry to inherit anything.
I've no debts except my medical bills that will take me years to pay and I have a life insurance policy that should more than pay for my cremation. I feel that my 28 year old daughter and 32 year old son should be able to make their ways through life okay. Am I being irresponsible? Maybe I'd feel differently if I had grandchildren.
It's strange. I bought my child a car, paid for gas and insurance, a cell phone and any college bills not included in their scholarships. I felt that was my responsibility. My brother spent got guilted into spending $500 for college for one child and more for another. Everything else they were on their own.
What do you think? Are we responsible for leaving our children a financial inheritance?