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Is leaving all your inheritance to your children unethical?

(174 Posts)
brasty Mon 11-Dec-17 16:38:38

I have been reading this article which argues that if you are leaving an inheritance to your children, that you should also leave some money to charities who help disadvantaged people, in recognition that not everyone inherits. It argues not to do that is unethical.
I think I agree, unless the inheritance is a very small amount - under £5k.

www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/12/ethics-inheritance-nussbaum-levmore/547934/

LookingForwardToChristmas Mon 11-Dec-17 16:39:41

What rubbish!

Surely by that theory that means it is unethical to cuddle your children because others don’t have affection.

newtlover Mon 11-Dec-17 16:42:05

I think if you are wealthy that may be true, but when our children face such an uncertain future and start adult life with massive debts, I think it's natural to want tho help them- also, many of us have inherited ourselves, or expect to, so in a way it's just passing it on.

Ylvamoon Mon 11-Dec-17 16:42:24

confused

Spartaca Mon 11-Dec-17 16:42:57

I can see the point, but it would never work.

AmySueGina Mon 11-Dec-17 16:43:14

I think all inheritance should be abolished. It's partly how the filthy rich keep the wealth and even lower down the socio-economic scale, it reproduces inequalities.

catwoozle Mon 11-Dec-17 16:43:44

That can fuck off. Leaving money to a charity can be a bloody nightmare for the executors as well.

brasty Mon 11-Dec-17 16:43:46

Yes, but many have also not inherited. Inheritance does entrench financial advantage.

Mishappening Mon 11-Dec-17 16:44:14

My view is that life is a struggle for many of our adult children and I would like to think that any legacy from me might make their lives easier. If they choose to give some of it to charity that is fine by me.

Fekko Mon 11-Dec-17 16:45:06

That's daft. My parents were not from well off families by any means and studied and worked hard to get a business going. Why should they not be able to leave their money to whoever the hell they want?

Allthetuppences Mon 11-Dec-17 16:45:38

No. I don't think this is about ethics. You could be community minded or public spirited as well as caring for your progeny. But that does not imply an automatic negative should you choose to simply pass anything or everything to your children. After all, the decision to have children is fairly wide reaching.

catwoozle Mon 11-Dec-17 16:46:32

It does, but it enhances financial advantage, looking at it the other way. Most people want to give their kids a start if they can. I'm going to give mine money while I'm alive though so I can see them benefit from it, not so they are waiting around for me to pop my clogs.

catwoozle Mon 11-Dec-17 16:48:40

It's not like most people haven't already paid tax on money they've earned so has already been redistributed. Ok, not the super rich who have probably squirrelled it away.

stevie69 Mon 11-Dec-17 16:48:49

I would like to have free choice as to where my estate goes when I depart this earth. I'm completely against any intervention which inhibits that choice.

Seniorcitizen1 Mon 11-Dec-17 16:49:12

I give to charity when I am alive. When I die all my money goes to my son

Silverthorn Mon 11-Dec-17 16:49:49

Ah you fancy a socialist utopian society where no-one works for money and food/ clothing/ etc is handed rationed out equally?
Cool. How do we approach this?

Fekko Mon 11-Dec-17 16:49:52

And IHT..

OddBoots Mon 11-Dec-17 16:49:56

Having seen the nightmare that charities can be when left anything in a will I have not left anything to charity in my will directly but I have enclosed a letter in which I have named the charities I'd like to benefit if my children (when they are adults) choose to give a gift in my name.

MyBrilliantDisguise Mon 11-Dec-17 16:50:02

Surely it would just mean you'd give your money to your children before you died, so when they are younger, and that would put them at an even greater advantage? Many people don't inherit until they're in their 50s and 60s at the moment, so it's not as though they're benefiting when they're young.

annandale Mon 11-Dec-17 16:51:58

I have major issues with a lot of charitable giving. That's an American article with a slightly different perspective on tax and state areas of operation. Here I'd say pay taxes and then feel free to give the rest to your children. I just wish the UK had less testamentary freedom so that you couldn't disinherit children without a specific process.

Iwanttobe8stoneagain Mon 11-Dec-17 16:51:59

But there will always be haves and have nots. People work hard for their money. Why should someone decide I can’t pass on what I have worked hard for to my son? A lot of money seeps out of charities. So my son should be left struggling whilst I’m funding the large salary of some charities executives? Never

Reallytired17 Mon 11-Dec-17 16:53:24

It is one way to disincentivise wealth.

Micah Mon 11-Dec-17 16:53:25

My mum has spent any inheritance that would have come to me and my brother.

All my money goes to the kids with a life interest for dh.

Kursk Mon 11-Dec-17 16:53:29

I don’t agree. DH and I have worked hard all our lives. My kids are the ones who should benefit from that.

The majority of charities that waste the money that raise is astronomical.

Osolea Mon 11-Dec-17 16:53:51

Of course it's not unethical to leave your property to your own children. We have inheritance tax to deal with this anyway. Inheritance tax already takes money from dead people rather than beneficiaries, and spends it on society, some of whom are disadvantaged, so this already happens in the U.K.

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