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Am I Required to Leave My Grandchildren an Inheritance?

Bill High

Bill High

June 22, 2017

Leave an inheritance to grandchildren?

Steve was incredulous. He’d never considered it. Yet when he read Proverbs 13.22, it was like he’d read the verse for the first time:

“A good person leaves an inheritance to their children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.”

So Steve went out and changed his trust to provide an inheritance to his grandchildren.

But is that what Proverbs 13.22 requires—to simply leave money to your grandchildren? In context, Proverbs 13.22 is about more than just money. Instead, it’s about the quality of your life: a good person. Some versions translate it as “a just person.”

The idea is that a good person has overflow of their life. In other words, through character, deeds, reputation, words, etc. a good person’s life overflows generationally. They impact generations through their life. Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible says it this way:

“He [the good person] not only has a sufficiency for the present support of himself and family; but is so prospered and succeeded, as to leave an inheritance after him; and which is continued to and enjoyed, not only by his immediate offspring, but theirs also…”

Randy Alcorn in his Eternal Perspective Ministries blog notes that culturally in the Old Testament that an inheritance was vital. Without an inheritance, future generations might be forced to live in poverty or even slavery. In American life, Alcorn notes:

“Inheritances are usually windfalls coming to people who live separately from their parents, have their own careers, are financially independent, and already have more than they need. Most often they aren’t carrying on the family business, or if they are, they don’t need a windfall in order to continue doing so. They have dependable sources of income generated by their own work, skills, saving, and investing.”

In short, an inheritance that focuses upon non-monetary elements is vital. It is in fact what a good person does.

The ONE THING Future Generations Most Want as an Inheritance

What do future generations most want in an inheritance? The answer might surprise you—perhaps even shock you.

When asked, “What’s most important to pass on to the next generation?”  74% of the respondents to a survey[1] said

Values and Life Lessons.

How are you doing passing on your stories?

[1] Americans’ Perspectives on New Retirement Realities and The Longevity Bonus by Merrill Lynch and the Age Wave

One Simple Tip to Give to Charity via Your Estate

I’ve seen many people struggle with the idea of designating a ministry or charity as a beneficiary of their will. They fear that the ministry will change their focus and then they will have to go through the cumbersome task of changing their will or trust.

The simple solution? Name your donor advised fund as your sole beneficiary. From there, you can name multiple charities as beneficiaries at your death. It’s a simple solution to add or delete charities on your donor advised fund—without ever having to see a lawyer.

About Bill High

Bill High

Bill High is the Founder of The Signatry. His mission is to empower families in building multi–generational legacies of generosity. Bill works with families, individual givers and financial advisors, with expertise in guiding business owners looking to sell or transition their business to the next generation.

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