Please let me clarify before you start calling me a cold-hearted jerk. As long as children are still dependents, then I believe parents should do everything in their power to perpetually provide for their spouse and children from the grave—hefty term life insurance and thoughtful savings invested into a good mutual fund (an endowment per se). Whether the children are 2 years old or 17 years old, that is my firm stance.
However! The average age of death is roughly 75 years old, and parents are typically 20-30 years older than their descendants. So in this example, the “children” are between 45 to 55 years old. Suffice it to say, it is fairly disingenuous to call someone who might have grandchildren a “child.” For that very reason, I wouldn’t give my children anything if I make it into my twilight years.
Yep, I would leave my “children” absolutely nothing. Zip. Zilch. Natta. Zero.
But what are a few reasons why I would do this?
(1) Proverbs 22:6 | “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” As a result, I do not worry about my future adult children. I trust them to do well (better than well) because that is what Baxters do—pray hard, love hard, and work hard. Because of early guidance and early monetary investment, our children will be far more successful than we could have ever imagined them to be.
(2) Actual Children | The amount of actual young children, orphans especially, who could benefit from the death of an old geezer is almost endless.
(3) Other Elderly People | There are so many widows, widowers, and otherwise disabled elderly who could really use a leg-up from a person who knows (or knew) exactly how they feel.
(4) Worthwhile Charities | Do you know who usually leaves big gobs of money for shelters that take care of battered women? Usually old dead people. What about animal shelters? Again, old dead people. How about full ride academic scholarships? Once again, old dead people. With all that good going around, why wouldn’t I want to be an awesome dead person too?
What about you? In an ideal world, would you give all your money to your kids?
PS: All of this assumes that I do not have a successful business that my children could potentially become owners of one day. In that case, a succession plan is necessary so that that transition is a smooth one and not a train wreck. However, since successful businesses are statistically improbable, I am assuming I just have a regular job that I have retired from.