Should a rich parent share out their wealth to the progeny when they are still alive or should they sell it and enjoy the proceeds while they still live and let the children fend for themselves?
This is the question presented to us in The Earth by Emile Zola when the Fouans decide to partition the land they own to their children; two sons and a daughter. The elder sister, Le Grande, widowed and mean, advices the younger brother intent on dividing his land to his children not to do it that he will shortly become a beggar. The brother at this point in time is not able to till the land and would not want to see it lie fallow for he has lived all his life working the land. For Le Grande, strangers would rather take the land than she partition it out to her children.
What’s your take?
And a bonus question, are children owed an inheritance from the labour of their parents? All of it or are parents at liberty to dispose of their assets as they see fit?