All Women's Talk

7 Reasons Not to Pin Your Hopes on Receiving an Inheritance ...

By Alison

Many people bank on receiving an inheritance. They think that it will get them out of financial difficulties or help them achieve their dreams. Yet you should never count on inheriting money; it's not guaranteed, and many family relationships have been destroyed because of expectations regarding an inheritance. Here are some reasons not to pin your hopes on receiving an inheritance

1 Never Guaranteed

Even if you've been told that you're in someone's will there is no guarantee of receiving an inheritance. People can and do change their minds, and circumstances can change. They may remarry, spend the money, or need it to pay for care in their old age. You may fall out with them. They may even outlive you. You just can't count on any money coming your way.

2 It's Not Your Right

Some countries have legislation that prevents people disinheriting their children, but if there is no legal right to inherit, is there a moral one? That's debatable. But just because you think that your parents or childless uncle should leave you everything, doesn't mean that they will. It's also not about 'right' - even if you do more for your parents than your siblings do, they may choose to share evenly or leave your siblings more. That's their choice.

3 Removes Motivation

Many very wealthy people choose not to leave anything to their children. They believe that the expectation of substantial sums will remove any motivation that their children will have to work hard and achieve anything. So they make it clear that the children must make their own way in life. Why work hard if you can have it handed to you on a plate?

4 Looking for Rescue

Are you hoping that an inheritance will allow you to buy a house, retire comfortably or get you out of debt? This is abandoning responsibility for your own situation and looking for someone to rescue you. It's better to take charge of solving your own problems, rather than waiting for an inheritance you might never receive.

5 Greed

The expectation of an inheritance can make people pretty greedy. You come to see it as your right, and think that you deserve more than others. Remember that receiving an inheritance is not up to you. The owner of the money has every right to do what they want with it.

6 Not Your Money

Most inheritances come from parents. Many people avoid spending money because they want to leave it to their children, yet they may really need it for themselves. Your parents should use their money to make their lives comfortable - if they can leave you something, that's a bonus. But their priority should be themselves.

7 Anger

It's not just wealthy people that take legal action over wills. Far less wealthy families end up in court fighting over money. The estate is then swallowed up by legal costs, and only the lawyers win. It's motivated by an angry determination to pursue one's 'rights'. Is it really worth getting angry over?

It's lovely to receive an inheritance (aside from the circumstances), but never depend on receiving one. There are too many variables. Even if you're promised one you may not get it. It should be a bonus, rather than a need. Are you hoping for an inheritance to achieve your future plans?

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