Question: I’m wrestling with an inheritance question: whether to pass my parents’ money to my kids. I don’t think I need it, and it could give them a good boost. It could go into a trust or something, though that seems controlling. I want my kids to be free. Down the road, I also don’t want to be worth too much more dead than alive. Any thoughts?Paul Sutherland: Many thoughts run through my mind as I consider your question, but the first thing I want to share is a story that was told to me years ago. I don’t remember it exactly, but the story came from one of the first books on sociology, published in 1897 by a Frenchman named Emile Durkheim, who studied change in social status. The world really seemed to be speeding up back then!Durkheim had asked people to picture a tall and handsome prince riding through the countryside on a beautiful horse, wearing his finest and looking for a lovely maiden. Next, he asked them to visualize a young maiden who sleeps on the ground with the chickens and pigs and often gets by eating grubs. The maiden gets swept up by the prince. She’s washed and gloriously dressed, fe …
Paul Sutherland is chief investment officer of the FIM Group and founder of the Utopia Foundation, which sends volunteers around the globe through utopiavolunteers.org. To ask Paul a question, email him directly at [email protected]
About the Author
Paul Sutherland resides in Michigan with his four youngest kids, ages 5 to 10. He and his wife, Amy, try to be an example of Parenting for a Peaceful world, in which democracy begins at home.