In the Headlines
September 2, 2011

Using an Inheritance to Teach Your Problem Child a Lesson

New York Times

Private Wealth Services Partner Chris Boyett was quoted in a New York Times article titled "Using an Inheritance to Teach Your Problem Child a Lesson."

The article discusses the sometimes difficult balance for parents between making financial and professional resources available and encouraging their children to grow into independent adults. When the best efforts fail, and the children end up troubled, parents have to decide what to do about leaving money with their problem child. The article reports that if they do not come up with a plan, it could make the situation worse. One strategy the author discusses is that of the "incentive trust," which sets hurdles for children to receive money or makes payments only for set reasons. Mr. Boyett suggests there are more personal ways to make a point than restricting access or influencing behavior, like telling your heirs in writing what you hope for them. He says he was so impressed by the thoughtful language in a client's trust document that he has adapted it for many clients: "While I am hopeful that the beneficiary's basic needs will be met, I am not concerned that all of his or her material desires be fulfilled. I regard it as much more important that the beneficiary live a meaningful and purposeful life." To that end, he advised parents not to pick one of their children as a trustee of their will: that child will almost always be pressured by the problem child for extra money.

READ: Using an Inheritance to Teach Your Problem Child a Lesson

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