Concerning inheritance

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?

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

36 thoughts on “Concerning inheritance

  1. Nicole Joan says:

    The last question is the answer to all these. Our parents wealth is not ours so they can do whatever they wish with it but the society we live in will never understand this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      Most people think children have a right to the labour of their parents. If say a parent dies without a will, what should become of the assets? Should it go to the children or state? Why?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nicole Joan says:

        In that case the children should be considered worthy of them but greedy relatives do grab before it goes further.

        Liked by 1 person

      • empressswamiii says:

        Yes. If intestate with spouse and children, the spouse gets personal chattels absolutely and life interest on the estate. Upon their demise, life interest is transferred to the children and any other heir. If no spouse, goes directly to them. If no children, to the state unless had relatives who were dependent on the intestate.


  2. Mordanicus says:

    My take on the issue is complex, and as you might know I do favor some kind of estate tax to reduce severe inequality of wealth. However, simultaneously I also see the prospect of inheritance as an incentive for children to look after their elderly parents. In short if they do not take care, they might forfeit their inheritance.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. judyt54 says:

    Agreed with Nicole, at last as far as who owns what and when. No one ‘owes’ a child anything, nor does a child ‘owe” anything to the parent,

    We have a similar situation here, neighbors of ours have been farming and raising livestock for three or four generations. Some of the younger members go off to have lives of their own (one is a minister, two are teachers, one was a police chief), and those who wish to stay do so. The understanding is, you stay, you work, you take over the land when it’s time. It works for them, because there’s little greed involved, and a true love for what they do.

    However, many parents use this kind of ‘when Im gone” thing as a carrot on a stick, to ensure loyalty (and if you feel you need that, well…) and possibly a continuation of what came before, whether it’s a family business or a partnership, or whatever. Or just gobs of money.

    It’s complicated, and can be complex and each family handles it differently, often poorly.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. foolsmusings says:

    Children have 0 rights to their parents wealth. If the parents wish to gift them some, that’s what it should be considered. A true test off their character imo is how grateful children are of what their parents have given them.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Parents have a huge debt to their children. I can think of no violence greater than inflicting life on someone.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. empressswamiii says:

    Children, as long as they’re dependants should always be provided for. So making one’s will should legally reflect this. But if everyone is of age, haha you just hope for the best lol.


  7. empressswamiii says:

    It all depends whether the person died with/without a will. If testate, it’s pretty much sealed unless it can proven
    If the person dies intestate (without a will) kuna rules. If there’s a surviving spouse they get personal and household effects and life interest on property which is later transferred to the children


  8. empressswamiii says:

    Unless it can be proven the person left out dependants*


  9. empressswamiii says:

    Now you know the position of our law is that there are basically no illegitimate children.


  10. empressswamiii says:

    In terms of succession, they’re considered equal to other children if any


  11. Ron says:

    I guess it depends on the age of the children and how well the parents get along with their children. There’s a possibility that gifting your children money too early in life might entice them to become spendthrifts rather than financially responsible adults.


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