If your child inherited one million dollars...

United States
August 24, 2007 1:23pm CST
If you child inherited one million dollars (or a large sum of money) from a distant relative that you hardly knew, what would you do? Would you expect your child to contribute the money to the family, so that everyone could live better? Would you stash the money into an interest bearing account for them to use after they reached adulthood and then just use the interest for family purposes? Personally, I think it would be necessary for us to use some of the money so that our daughter could live a better life. What sense in her living an ordinary life with fewer opportunities if there were a possibility to afford to send her to a private school and later college. And, it would be so much nicer to be able to afford to buy her all the toys that she really wants now and not make her do without because we don't have the income. Of course, I would worry that later she would resent me for using her money, even if I am only using it for her benefit. Kids are funny when it comes to their property and possessions. Even if she received a benefit, she might still begrudge the fact that I had to use her money. What's that old phrase about wanting to have your cake and eat it too? So, I would want to be smart with managing her money if she ever did receive such an inheritance, so that she would have plenty later. Do you think it would be wrong to use your child's money to help them live the type of life that you have always wished for them?
2 people like this
13 responses
@maddysmommy (16243)
• United States
24 Aug 07
I don't see any problem with it if that is what you intend to do with her inheritance i.e build a better life for her. I would hope she would be able to contribute a bit to the family but it would be her decision to do so. If she was too young to even understand or know, then I doubt that as a parent I could get access to it even if it was to improve her life in terms of private schooling and such. I would rather that whoever gave her the inheritance to have some accessible for her education and schooling and whatever else she may need to make her life better. As for the rest of it, to sit there until she is old enough to do whatever she wants with it.
2 people like this
• United States
24 Aug 07
Certainly, I would hope that the person the money came from would be wise enough to understand that she would need someone, like a parent to manage her money. That way it could be available for stuff she needed. That would be the hope anyway if it ever really happened.
@youless (87499)
• Guangzhou, China
25 Aug 07
Since he is only a child, so I can't expect him to use the money well. It is likely that children will become less ambitious and lazy because he knows he is already rich and doesn't have to study hard and work hard. So I think I will keep the money for him and better not let him to learn this money. I will use the money for his education and other costs in the future. After he grows up and needs it one day, I will give it to him. Perhaps at that time he knows how to use it well.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Aug 07
That is a very good point about a child's ambition! I had not considered that. Many young people in America suffer from that rich kid syndrome too. Once they know mommy and daddy have lots of money they don't feel compelled to do anything useful with their own lives. It's very sad. I would expect my own girl to make her own way in life, even if she did inherit lots of money. She wouldn't be happy or fulfilled otherwise.
@fredgame (1264)
• China
25 Aug 07
i think you wouldn't be wrong to do that so that they don't struggle in life. however, i think that the children shouldn't be pampered too much as they'd to have no value for for the wealth and maybe squandered it. they should be made to value the things they get and they money be managed in a way that the child can still have his share to start his own life at adulthood.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Aug 07
Well if the child was old enough to make a smart decision about the money then I would let them decide. It's their money, their decsion. If they are just a young child/baby I would put the money into a bank. The interest would be a very nice amount and I would save it up until they grew up. They would have a lot of money for college and for their life. If they want to contribute money to the family, then they can. But I wouldn't force that. I probably wouldn't tell them about it until they graduated highschool. I would make them get a job when they turned 16. That way they will be working 2 or 3 years before they know about the money. That way they would have even more money, be better off, and they would hopely not be lazy and never work because they are set with the money and it's interest.
• United States
24 Aug 07
Being that I am my childrens' custodian I would have say in how the money was spent. If that meant paying bills to keep them living a good life then I would do that. I would also set aside a certain amount for college, a certain amount for spending each year (that would be invested to earn more) and stuff like that. I wouldn't let them go all out but then my kids are pretty young. I wouldn't allow them to make severely irresponsible choices either. Cell phones would have to be worked for and earned, not just handed to them. They would get all of the school clothing and supplies needed. I would allow them a certain amount of luxury living but nothing that could harm them. I would say that you absolutely have the right to use that money for the family, as long as it wasn't for the parents benefit only.
@vinzen (1022)
• India
24 Aug 07
Hi, it would all depend from person to person and their own persoanl choices and the more people you ask the more answers you would get that will get you confused i think. As you are the best people to decide what you want to do with her money, we all can just make suggestions, finally it would be your own persoanl family decison. But as you have asked i would like to suggest. I would put away 70%% of her money in a fixed deposit scheme and invest it some place safe and away. This i would use for the future or maybe gift it to her for her wedding . Another 10% i would invest in our own fixed deposit, which would be exclusively used for her and the kids upbringing alone their college education or higher education and things like that, not to be touched for anything else. Another 10% i would spend for putting her into some good private school and paying the fees etc. The remaining 10% would be spent to pamper her and the kids with toys and gifts an buying something for them or the houselhold. I think this way, we would have used the whole amount wisely andi nvested a large amount for a rainy day, for the future and that would be fully hers. We can even invest the amount in some property as property investments, if wisely invested, are always beneficial as well.
1 person likes this
@KrisNY (7609)
• United States
3 Sep 07
I would put the money away and use it for her- Sure I would use the interest on the family- I can’t imagine her being left a lot of money- but if she was- then it would be smart to use part of it- while she is growing up- I wouldn’t use it all by any means- but some of it- Most inheritances state how the money can be used- if the person is a minor.
@crazed_moma (1054)
• United States
26 Aug 07
I could see using it for schooling and such but not for toys. If they have that sort of money I wouldn't want to squander it on silly stuff (like we do with the money we make lol) Maybe a monthly alowance for clothes/toys would be a good idea? I think as long as you're using it for your child and not to go buy a new car or gamble for example than it's fine. :) I doubt we'd ever be in that situation though.
@crazynurse (7510)
• United States
25 Aug 07
Lets see. For sure I wouldn't use any of the money for family issues. My first action would be to hire an accountant to advise me and an attorny (if the child was a minor) to advise me. I would only use the money for very specific things for the child, as you mentioned perhaps school-related issues. I would want the money to make more money for them, and would be very careful about spending it. I wouldn't use the money to buy unnecessary fun items just because I suddenly could (flashy clothes, best of everything etc). I actually have a friend to whom this happened last year. She is struggling with all the legalities and all that come along with having a minor child who is suddenly much more wealthy than the rest of the family! She of course is the executor until he is 18...and it is a nightmare for her!
• China
25 Aug 07
It's just a hypothsies at all.If I was the person who left large sum of money to other,I would sned the monoy out to the people who is in the situation of help.
@laura1167 (149)
• United States
24 Aug 07
One thing I can never stress enough is this: once you have money in savings or stocks etc.,never touch the capital. If you need some money, draw from the interest but never subtract money from the capital. That is how people become rich. If it were my child it would be put into a child tax free account. Again, if money is needed, it would be taken from the interest. I wouldn't worry so much about providing extras. Most people would appreciate the larger amount as an adult then if it was whittled away on childhood extravagance. I can't imagine having to tell my adult child they could have spent their entire life not working and living a decent lifestyle but they had private school, dance lessons, toys and vacations instead.
@taylorblue (1286)
• Canada
24 Aug 07
I think in these days today if you are living pay check to pay check it would be silly to not use the money. I would tell my child they could help pick out the house and decorate their room the way they wanted. If it would help their quality of life and you didn't take advantage of it like buying a brand new sportscar or something like that.
@cher913 (25895)
• Canada
24 Aug 07
well my daughters would want to go shopping and spend, spend, spend and everything that i have tried to teach them would have gone out the window! i think it would only be fair if they contributed a little bit to the rest of the family...but i would definitely put some aside for their future schooling as well!