Should We Really Expect to Inherit Money From Our Parents?

Sting is one of Earth’s most successful rockstars. He is worth over 300 million dollars. He has 6 adult children, so it would be safe to assume that all 6 of those children would have a pretty significant inheritance coming their way eventually, right? Wrong. In an interview for The Daily Mail, Sting said that he won’t be leaving trust funds for his kids. He doesn’t want them to be reliant on money that they didn’t work for. He said, “I came up in an era of playing pubs for ten quid each and going back night after night. I served on the shop floor. It builds resilience and a toughness.” He wants them to work hard and be successful in their own right.

Sting’s decision is really admirable, but it’s still always surprising to hear major celebrities say they won’t leave any of their fortune to their children, especially when they’re worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Some even billions. That’s a lot of dollars to not share with the humans you spawned. Of course, there are endless charities and other places that will put the money to good use, but is that fair to the kids?

His kids didn’t ask to be born into privilege (although chances are they aren’t mad about it). It was the luck of the draw. Being privileged doesn’t mean they won’t still work hard to make their own way in the world (they already are, mostly as actors and musicians). In the Daily Mail interview, Sting acknowledged that his children have been very fortunate, but they will always have a lot to overcome to not be known only as “Sting’s children.” He said, “With my children there is great wealth, success—a great shadow over them—so it’s no picnic at all being my child. . . it’s tough for them.” Which seems like a pretty good reason to leave them a few bucks, right?

Working hard, earning success and being financially independent is absolutely important. But let’s get real for a quick second—receiving (or not receiving) an inheritance means you have lost a parent, and losing a parent is one of the most heartbreaking and debilitating losses a person will ever endure. If our parents are fortunate enough to have money to leave us when they die, that money should be there to provide the support we once had when our parents were alive. It’s money to spend on vacations we couldn’t otherwise afford, to help pay for our wedding, to help us buy our first home or to help spoil the grandchildren our parents are no longer here to spoil.

When you lose a parent, you understand and appreciate the significance and purpose of any inheritance, no matter how big or small. Parents who intentionally deny their kids that assistance may have a really good reason to do it, it just still seems like a really sad thing to do.

Featured image via Daily Mail

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