How to Give Your Child an Inheritance

Leave something to your child. A child who receives an inheritance is a child who knows that his or her parents were thinking of the future, were considering his or her feelings, and expressing their love even after death.

The child who is excluded from a family inheritance is a child who feels an ache that can never truly be comforted, and experiences a wound that can never truly be healed. Learn more about the process at

Leaving an inheritance takes advance planning. So, plan! Decide what it is that you hope to leave your child, and make it as legal and official as it has to be with the help of a probate attorney so that no one can possibly interfere with your plan and your wishes in your absence.

An inheritance need not be money alone, although money is not to be discounted.

Child Inheritance

One couple I know has set the goal of providing as an inheritance for their three children: a college education, an automobile by the time the child is eighteen years old, and the down payment for a home. They consider this a “living inheritance”—something they will “leave” their children while they themselves are still alive. Now, they aren’t committed, necessarily, to new cars, private schools, or mansions. They are committed to expressing to their children that, as parents, they not only desire to help their children grow to adulthood, but that they want to help launch their children into adult­hood by providing assistance they believe to be impor­tant for a young adult’s success. Furthermore, they have told their children nothing of their plans. Working toward these goals is something of a secret mission they share.

Parents may even want to give a portion or the bulk of the inheritance while they are still alive. That gives them an opportunity to watch their children enjoy the inheritance and to be available for answers about the origin of some items, the ways in which some stock portfolios might best be managed, or the meaning be­hind gifts of a more personal or sentimental nature.

Heirloom-quality and hand-crafted gifts are one way of giving your child a portion of his or her inheritance from an early age. Needlepoint and embroidered gifts may rest on bookshelves, antique dolls may be dis­played in a glass cabinet, a passed-down-through-the-family cradle may hold teddy bears in the corner of a child’s room. A close friend was given her grandmoth­er’s doilies, which she backed with squares of bright jewel-toned silk and converted into pillows. Heirloom and handmade items are gifts of time, love, and family that give a child a sense that he or she is being “gifted” with heritage; later, the child will value the gifts even more as examples of Mom or Dad’s trust.

An inheritance displays a great vote of parental confi­dence to a child—it is an irreplaceable, unduplicatable gift!

Filed Under: Family & Relationships


About the Author: Roberta Southworth is a psychiatrist by profession. She likes to help out people by writing informative tips on how people can to solve their family and relationship issues. She is currently staying in Ireland. She has 5 years of couple counseling experience.

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