Here’s a letter that struck a nerve with me lately: A single woman wrote and asked whether she was obligated to leave money to her nieces and nephews when she dies. Her mother passed recently, and she and her two siblings are each getting an inheritance. https://www.thepennyhoarder.co…mily-an-inheritance/
She knows she needs to make a will. Her brother and sister told her that since she doesn’t have children, she should leave her money to their children. So she asked whether she’s in the wrong if she doesn’t leave money to her nieces and nephews. To which my answer is a resounding NOOO!!! The sense of entitlement coming from the letter writer’s siblings is positively infuriating.
So I’m wondering: For those of you who are single and don’t have kids, where do you plan to leave your money when you die? Or if you’re a parent, who would you leave your money to if you didn’t have kids? That’s assuming, of course, that you ARE planning to leave money to your kids. If you’re not, I’d definitely be interested in hearing from you as well.
The letter hit home for me since I’m single with no children. My mom and my sister are my beneficiaries. But since my sister is a lot older, I need to start thinking about contingent beneficiaries. I don’t have nieces and nephews. I have cousins, but I wouldn’t make them or their children the beneficiaries just to keep the money in the family. I’d rather leave my money to a good charity so I can make an impact.
For example, here in St. Pete, FL, there’s a great group that I make a small monthly contribution to. They make small cash grants to people facing an emergency, i.e., they’re behind on rent, need help with a medication co-pay, can’t afford to repair the car they use for work, etc. Often, a grant of just a few hundred dollars staves off disaster and makes a huge difference. So I’d much rather give money there or to a similar charity than have it go to a distant relative who’s doing just fine already.
I get angry when people feel like they or their kids are entitled to an inheritance. I know my mom has me and my sister listed as her beneficiaries, but I really hope there’s not much left for us. I’d rather see her use that money to travel or just enjoy life when she retires.
What does everyone think? Should the letter writer leave her money to family? Or should she do whatever the heck she wants with her money?