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11 year old has inherited a lot of money

270 replies

Jessica8282 · 19/01/2022 18:25

Hi there,

I can’t quite believe the position we’re in, which I know is incredibly fortunate. I feel bad for even feeling it’s a problem.

However my son has just inherited a large sum, we won’t know exactly how much for a while, but at least £150,000, possibly much more.

Rather than this being amazing news, I’m now worrying a lot about how this will shape the person he becomes.

My background is not an overly prosperous one, in-fact I spent large parts of my 20s and 30s in considerable debt. So I’m finding it hard to process this news and the impact it will have on him.

My questions are, can I postpone telling him until he’s older than 18 (I.e 25) or do I have to tell him once he’s 18? I can’t see how having lots of money can positively impact his growth as a person.

My second question is, do I tell him soon so he has time to process it and let us instil in him what that money will go towards, i.e a house (and it not feel like a huge money splashing celebration when he’s 18). Or do we wait so that he has at least has some time in his life of having to think about how he’s going to make something of his life without having loads of money?

Also, just any general advice on how to handle this situation to ensure he still grows up to be a nice hard working person is greatly received!

I just keep thinking how being a poor student really taught me the value of money, and how he’ll miss that experience. Which is crazy, I should be over the moon for him!

OP posts:
OnlyFoolsnMothers · 19/01/2022 18:28

I’d get legal advice followed by financial advice. I wouldn’t give a large sum of money to anyone under the age of 25- and I inherited a few hundred thousands at 20. Look at trusts, maybe portion a sum aside for uni/ driving lessons etc.

ivykaty44 · 19/01/2022 18:29

Is the money in trust for your D.C. or will this money come to him now?

I’d pre warn him he has money, if it sits in a bank account for 10 years it will rapidly decrease in value though, if inflation is at a 30 year high at 7%

I’d tell him and prepare him with financial advice to set him up

legalseagull · 19/01/2022 18:29

I would tell them - you've been left money to buy a house. Just so they grow up knowing that's what it's for

Chasingsquirrels · 19/01/2022 18:30

I'd tell him now and I'd be looking, with him, at how it can be invested. Talking about how it will improve his long term life etc.
Consider an amount to be used for driving lessons and a first car.
Plus a "enjoyment" amount for when he first gets it - doesn't have to be masses, but something which is for him rather than theoretical for a future house.

While £150k is a lot of money, it isn't going to set him up for life, although depending on where he ends up living it could be a significant housing start.

Purplewithred · 19/01/2022 18:31

Loads of kids inherit and turn out to be thoughtful, sensible, independent people with a good grip on the value of money and a real sense of gratitude for their luck. To be honest £150,000 is lovely but it's basically a nice car, a very decent deposit on a flat, a good holiday/gap year and maybe a fairly decent 18th. When does he get his hands on the cash - is it in trust? till when?

What you tell him now vs later depends on how old he is. But I would certainly make sure he had some fun out of it, not just boring sensible things. What would the person who left it to him want for him?

TeenPlusCat · 19/01/2022 18:32

I would probably go with

  • tell him he has inherited 'some' money from great uncle moneybags, which will help him with a house deposit, but he can't have it until he is an 'adult' and it is being invested for him until then.
  • make sure when he is 17 that 'most' of it is not easy access

If he gets it when he's 18 you can't hold of telling him. (Which is why our wills have a higher age for our DC to inherit.)
Noisyprat · 19/01/2022 18:37

I would go with not telling him and investing it in his name. When he gets to 18 they will send a letter telling him about the account bla bla bla. I would intercept this letter and not give him the money until about age 25 or when you can see is sensible.

In the meantime have a quick look at some of the threads on here about out of control teens.

I know other posters will now come along and tell you that the above is illegal. It probably is and I guess there's a risk that he will not be happy however you have to weigh this up with him getting the money early and possibly blowing the lot.

Fuckitydoodah · 19/01/2022 18:38

I'd definitely get some proper financial advice. If it was me I'd be looking at access when he is age 25, if not 30. With a portion of it set aside for age 17/18 to pay towards car, uni/travelling.

I'm not sure I'd tell him yet either.

toppkatz · 19/01/2022 18:45

There may be conditions in the will anyway, that it needs to be in trust or something like that.

Jessica8282 · 19/01/2022 18:47

I need to speak to the solicitor, but the letter he’s had doesn’t mention a trust, or seem to acknowledge that he’s a child. I also had a letter, and it was phrased the same.

As for the comment that it’s not that much money, sure it’s not not never having to work kind of money, but it is own your own home in your 20s kind of money. Which is a very privileged place to be compared to most.

I’ll definitely be getting financial advice.

I’m interested in those opinions of telling him sooner rather than waiting until 18. My gut was that I didn’t want him to know for as long as possible, but as I’m starting to get my head around it I’m now wondering if that isn’t the best approach.

Also, I know lots of people inherit money as kids. I also know lots piss the whole lot away in early 20s and regret it later on in life. It’s a once in a life time opportunity to get set up well that I don’t want him to waste.

OP posts:
Serenschintte · 19/01/2022 18:47

I asked my DH who has financial qualifications in this kind of thing. He thinks you can’t withhold it from him once he is 18 - it’s theft.
He says on the plus side you have a long time to educate him about being wise with money.

Echobelly · 19/01/2022 18:47

Yeah, I might lead with 'When you're an adult, you'll have enough money to buy a house' because as he grows up and learns about how difficult it is to own a property and what a benefit that is, hopefully he'll be keen to keep it back for that.

I inherited rougly half that amount when I turned 18 over two decades ago (so probably worth about the same in housebuying terms!) and it had always been stressed to me it could form a house deposit and that's how I thought of it.

I spent a little of it so I didn't have to live like crap just because I was a student - didn't have to buy the cheapest food, or turn down nights out and I could afford holidays (nothing extravagant, but it was something I could do).

FWIW I grew up enjoying a wealthy childhood, then my parents lost a lot of their income after DF's business folded although we still kept home (thanks to grandparent intervention) - but I was always taught the value of money and that I was very lucky to have what I had. My two siblings also inherited same and we all used it for property.

I don't hold at all with the 'common wisdom' that any young person given large sums will do something stupid and profligate with it. Unless it's an exceptionally large lottery-style sum, I think most will use it wisely.

It's all in the preparation, really - I'd lay the groundwork that a good sum is coming and they will be in the lucky position of being able to buy a home.

May turn out they don't want to in the end, but it's worth talking about it that way.

Hellocatshome · 19/01/2022 18:48

The money will likely be put in a trust fund. My friend inherited A LOT of money, he wasn't told about it until he was 18. The money was in trust until he was 25 but he could ask the trustees to take some out before then. He asked them for enough to buy a house where he went to Uni which they granted. He didn't take anymore out until he was 25 nd it all came to him anyway. I definitely think not telling jim is a good idea for now. Depending on the way the trust is set up would probably help dictate when you did tell him about it.

DeerMyDear · 19/01/2022 18:49

You can’t withhold money from an adult, and he’ll be one at 18. That’s just theft.

Unless it’s in a trust or similar.

But YOU can’t simply withhold it.

Pinkbrush · 19/01/2022 18:50

I personally wouldn’t tell him until around 21/22. I would want to be sure he’s sensible, but you should definitely use some of the money to pay for things he’ll need at 18/whenever like car etc. and then reveal where it came from later on.

I was a sensible child and have grown up to be very sensible and would like to think knowing i had that much money wouldn’t have changed how hard i worked, but to be honest, i’m sure it may have changed some things. The little part time job i had at 18 taught me a lot and maybe I wouldn’t have bothered with all that if i know i had money in the bank.

noottersontheflightdeck · 19/01/2022 18:51

Don't tell him yet. At this age he might think it's a fortune and stop working at school on the back of that. It's a huge huge leg up but it's not set-for-life money. Also, at 11 he'll be desperate to tell his mates and that's an invitation to rows and resentments, and quite possibly being bullied or scammed online.

RestingStitchFace · 19/01/2022 18:56

I also know lots piss the whole lot away in early 20s and regret it later on in life.

My husband's friend did exactly that. Property prices in his area of the country have trebled in the intervening years. If he's bought even a modest flat back then, he'd be sitting on A very nice little nest egg now. I think you have exactly the right idea in trying to invest for his future. He will thank you for it one day.

Knackeredmommy · 19/01/2022 18:57

I wouldn't say anything to him now. I'd put the money in trust and probably wouldn't mention it until he was coming up to 16.

MrsSiba · 19/01/2022 18:57

The executors can decide whether to release the amount due to your son to you as his parent to hold until he's 18. Or they might decide to act as trustees themselves until your son is 18 and transfer the money directly to him then.

You need to find out the finer details.

Good luck to your son, hope it sets him up nicely 🙂

Fearnecuptea · 19/01/2022 18:57

Wow that's exciting for your son but needs to be managed correctly I'd say. No way would I recommend telling your son now, it could taint his ambition/life view.

£150k is allot of money to me (I guess id call myself professional adult) not least a tween!

WonderfulYou · 19/01/2022 18:57

I completely understand what you’re saying. I rarely do the lottery but when I do I have a mini panic about how it will impact my DD in a negative way.

However no matter how rich you are you can always teach them the value of money, kindness and being grateful of what they have.

You have time now to make sure they grow up and realise how fortunate they are. As a PP said actually it’s not loads of money. It means they’ll get an extra boost but will still have to work and be grateful for it. With you as a parent I have a feeling they’ll be absolutely fine.

WonderfulYou · 19/01/2022 18:59

I wouldn't say anything to him now. I'd put the money in trust and probably wouldn't mention it until he was coming up to 16.

I agree but I’d actually wait until they’re 18.

Before then I’d get them to get a PT job to help pay for driving lessons and a car - to understand how you have to work and save to get the things they want.

ColouringPencils · 19/01/2022 18:59

A friend of mine inherited a lump sum when we were students. While I probably would have pissed it up the wall, it had obviously been instilled in her that this was money for something useful. She bought a normal student car when we were at uni, paid off student loans, had a short stint traveling and (much) later used it as a good deposit for a house. I can't see she has experienced any downsides at all! I think it's about how you talk about it.

Jessica8282 · 19/01/2022 19:00

Thanks, that’s a good point about him telling others, and probably out ways the benefits of telling him now.

OP posts:
Zilla1 · 19/01/2022 19:00

Depending on jurisdiction, you/the default trustee might have to inform them at 18 even if you don't want them to know.

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