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Dad reveals he doesn't plan to leave inheritance to kids, 'don't expect any handouts.'

Dad reveals he doesn't plan to leave inheritance to kids, 'don't expect any handouts.'


Talking about money is enough of a taboo on its own. But talking about inheritance can feel double taboo, since it's money that only enters the picture when a family member passes away.

Conversations about inheritance open up lots of opportunities for feelings to get hurt, intentions to get misconstrued, and conflict to escalate. Still, it's better to have an open conversation and get it all out there than to brush things under the rug until it all explodes.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a dad asked if he's wrong for not telling his kids they won't be getting an inheritance.

He wrote:

AITA for never telling our children that they aren't getting any inheritance?

My wife and I are both in our mid 40s, and work full-time. We have three children (20F, 17F, 11M). We've both worked hard to get where we are in our careers, and thankfully that means we're able to provide a good life for our kids. We aren't rich, and we don't live beyond our means, but combined we make about 300K per year.

Now here's the thing, if we went the traditional route and saved heavily and worked another 25 years, we could probably retire at a decent age and still leave a sizable inheritance for our kids. The thing is that we don't want that for us or them. We worked hard to get where we are, and we intend to enjoy the rewards of that before we're elderly.

We also don't want our kids to be counting down the days until we die so they can get our money and never work again. So our plan is to retire about the time our son graduates high school. We'll have enough saved up to live comfortably and travel more, and we intend to use all our money. We have a rainy day fund of course, but we fully plan to use as much of our money as possible.

They'll get a portion of what we have left once both of us die, but they shouldn't expect anything. We've never really brought this up with any of the kids. For one it's our money and our business, and for another, they never asked. We did however explain that we aren't giving them handouts as adults. We pay half of whatever their school ends up costing, and that'll be the last major money we ever give them.

I recently had a minor health scare (Precancerous mole, I'm fine) and the topic came up with our oldest about what our plans were. I explained the money situation. This really upset her, she accused us of caring more about partying than her and her siblings well-being. I explained that we'd rather them make their own way in life like we did, not wait for a handout.

She told her sister, and now they're both upset with my wife and I, not just for the inheritance, but for not telling them sooner. I don't think there was any good reason to do that, it isn't their business what happens to other people's money. Still I'm open to being wrong about that.

The court of the internet adjourned to mull over OP's case.

hellolittlebears wrote:

“And when he died, all he left us was alloooonne”

Sorry just popped into my head.

Anyway, it seems like this is the kind of thing you should have been talking about all along, that you don’t plan on doing anything to make life financially easier for them and that your family’s philosophy is that money is to be spent on yourself, not preserved for future generations or spent on loved ones. So YTA for not making your family’s values clear as they were growing up.

That line about “they’ll just be waiting for us to die” though….ouch. That’s really sad if you genuinely think that your children will feel this way about you. I’m not sure why you think not leaving them anything because you don’t want to do anything to make their lives less difficult will make them have warmer feelings towards you.

You’re not obligated to leave them anything, but your attitude towards them is just very sad. It doesn’t seem like you think very highly of your children’s character.

BriefHorror wrote:

NTA but where the f**k do you live that 300 grand a year is not rich?

jmbbl wrote:

YTA. First off, lol at not thinking you're rich when you earn 300k a year. If you're not rich, how could your kids possibly expect to inherit and never have to work again? Second of all, you do realize there's a happy medium between cutting your kids off and spoiling them rotten, right? You can be supportive parents and also teach them the value of work.

Third, life isn't the same now as it was when you started out. Housing and education in particular have gotten way more expensive in the last 20 years. If you can at least help them get their degrees without them being saddled with a bunch of debt, you absolutely should.

No one's saying you have to buy them each a house or pay for extravagant weddings, but you sound like incredibly harsh parents who are all too happy to pull the ladder up behind yourselves in life.

nejnoneinniet wrote:

300k a year and you are not rich? YTA for that blatant lie alone. Also “we plan to use as much of the money as we possibly can.” Not planning to have as good a time as you can afford, no no, just use as much as you possibly can.

Do you actually even like your kids? Are you resentful that they have cost money to raise and doing your best to ensure they get nothing is your revenge! Because honestly, that’s how it reads. Sure it’s your money and you can do what you want, but not being honest and open about it with your children from a reasonable age is just a duchy move.

WhatWouldScoobyDoo2 wrote:

Bold to assume another health scare won’t wipe out your entire savings if you’re living in the US. Your plan isn’t one of an a**hole per se, BUTT I would hope the rainy day fund is good for more than one “rainy day.”

While yes your money is your own business if you care about your kids (which it seems like you do) transparency won’t hurt anyone- being secretive like this IS something to hide is more likely to hurt feelings. NAH.

BillRepresentative41 wrote:

YTA - I had parents exactly like this - retire early and spend it all on themselves. When parents are not helping you launch, to give you the best chance at a good life, it breeds a lot of resentment. Especially, if you see classmates who have parents of similar means who generously give of their resources to help their offspring.

It’s the sink or swim school of parenting, “You're 18 now don’t expect anything more from us - good luck!” Needless to say, I did the opposite with my children and provided tons of opportunities so they could succeed in life. Don’t be surprised if later on in life if you don’t have close relationships with your children or they struggle as adults- you will reap what you sow.

This is a rare one where the rulings are all over the map, but there is a general air of disagreement with OP's mindset.

Sources: Reddit
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