CNN anchor Anderson Cooper released a book in September, Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty. The book tour has led to a lot of questions about Cooper’s own self-earned wealth, and the plans for his wealth since the birth of his son Wyatt in September 2020. Anderson Cooper did not receive a big financial windfall from his late mother, heiress Gloria Vanderbilt. Herself a trust fund baby, she felt her wealth was a curse from childhood that caused her a lifetime of family pain and betrayals.
Cooper said in a recent interview,
“I’m not that interested in money, but I don’t intend to have some sort of pot of gold for my son. I’ll go with what my parents said… ‘College will be paid for, and then you got to get on it.’ “
So is inherited money inherently bad?
Inherited money is not inherently bad – if you take steps to prepare your children for their inheritance. Money management is typically not taught in school but instead is learned through trial and error. Managing an inheritance is a big responsibility, whether it is a large or relatively small amount of money.
1. Tell Your Children They Will Be Inheriting Money or Property
Not every child, even an adult child, needs to know exactly how much money they will be inheriting. But by preparing them early on that they will be inheriting responsibility in addition to money by discussing it with them openly and honestly, they will not be overwhelmed if they inherit at a young age.
2. Teach Them Financial Responsibility
Model responsible wealth management through charitable giving. Whether your financial assets are large or small, you can educate your heirs about the importance of giving back and using their money for the benefit of others. Let them research and choose a charitable organization to donate to at an early age, and encourage them to follow how their donation is used.
3. Provide a Finance Education
Writing a check, balancing a checking account, shopping for interest rates, compound interest – these subjects aren’t taught in grade school or high school. The more your children understand how our financial system works, the better prepared they will be to manage their inheritance.
It takes time to create and execute an estate plan that protects and transfers wealth to the next generation. Your heirs deserve to be educated on how to manage their inheritance. An experienced estate planning attorney can advise you on the best ways to provide your children and grandchildren with the life skills needed to manage and sustain inherited wealth.
Contact the experienced estate planning attorneys at Estate and Probate Legal Group to discuss how to preserve your wealth for the next generation. Call us today at 630-864-5835.
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