Do You Plan to Leave Anything Behind?

The premise behind this post is based on a forum topic started by Sampson.  The question was, what are your inheritance plans when you pass on?  Do you plan on leaving a large sum for the next generation?  Or do you plan on spending it all?  Perhaps you plan on leaving whatever is left over?

Our Plan and Why

I’m closer to the leaving whatever is left over but with a twist of course.  As I explained in the forum, I plan on helping the kids out financially at major life events/milestones while I’m still alive and when they need the money most.  Since I plan/hope to live a long time, when I pass, the kids will be older and will be already financially secure (ideally).  So while the kids are relatively young, I plan on financially contributing to their milestones such as college/university, a wedding, or perhaps even the down payment on their first house.

My Parents

Even though I worked my way though University to cover tuition (part time job and coop), my parents helped us out with a portion of our wedding costs and they even made a contribution towards the down payment of our first house.  Having any amount of help in the early years, especially when just starting out in life, can be the kick start you need to get ahead.

Tax Efficiency

There’s also another benefit of gifting cash to your kids while you are still alive, you get to avoid probate fees.  When you gift cash to your adult kids, the transfer is completely tax free.  However, if you wait until death, the whole estate will face a probate fee before the money can be transferred.

Final Thoughts

More than likely, we’ll continue to build assets for the remainder of my life which could result in more money than we can spend due to our relatively conservative lifestyles.  If we do end up with a sizable portion, we plan to leave some to the kids but most of it will be donated to charity.  Perhaps we’ll even start a small charitable foundation depending on the amount.

The forum opinion/plans on this issue are all over the map.  Some plan on simply leaving the house behind, others plan on leaving nothing, but most plan on leaving something.

Will you leave any assets behind?  What are your plans?

If you haven’t already, make sure to visit:  The Canadian Money Forum.

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11 years ago

Wah, this is interesting topic. I haven’t really given a thought on this issue. But, I don’t really agree that parents should leave any assets behind. There are too many cases that happen around us especially those rich men left behind the assets and their children are fighting for it. What a shame.

Rob O.
11 years ago

I’m hopeful that we can instill in him the wisdom & drive to be capable of earning his own way. And I fully understand that there are some real advantages to having to earn the money for your own things. When you’ve had to scrape together pennies to pay for a car and the insurance, you’re much more likely to value that car and care for it accordingly.

Having had to work for my own college education and knowing how difficult and slow-going that was, I want to ensure that (at least a large percentage) of the needed money is there for my son’s higher education. But again, since I had to pay my own way through school, costly mistakes were felt more deeply. I partied much less and -tried- to apply myself much more than most of my peers, because failing a class had very tangible fiscal repercussions.

Like others have said, I have no intention of spoiling our son, but I also don’t want to see him miss opportunities because of some rigid sensibility about financial independence.

Komodo Dragon
11 years ago

I am only 22, so I have not yet really set any goals, on what it is exactly that I will leave behind, although I must say…. instead of avoiding taxes by giving a gift and what not… why not just have let your kids have access to your bank account? Somehow… they can legally have access to it, won’t that solve some tax barriers? Or will they complicate them?

Till then,


Daniel Wintschel
11 years ago

Depending on how things work out, my ‘grand plan’ is to not actually have to drain any accumulated wealth in retirement. Hoping to live purely off of CPP (if it’s alive), dividend and other investment yields.

Ideally I’d like to leave behind a fairly substantial trust that would continue to payout the same income I was earning, but to a few specific charitable organizations. A lofty goal – but I’m only 28, so I’ve got a bit of time to figure it all out.

Definitely want to leave something for future childrens-to-be (crosses fingers) – but I have yet to figure out what that will look like. I think helping them with major life milestones (school/wedding/house) is almost just as good, maybe even better.

11 years ago

Its funny what a decade or two will do to your perspective. Currently, I am 22 years old, I concede that I will live until I am 122. That gives me a nice 100 years left on this beautiful planet. In all seriousness though, (mind you with the medical advances in the next 50 years or more until I am in my ‘golden years’ as they are so eloquently put, one never knows) I almost believe I am invincible. I know that is a foolish notion, but a commonly shared one amongst the youth of today. Especially when one does not even have children.

I am kind of split on this topic however. My parents never gave my siblings nor myself an allowance. Occasionally they would pay us for doing chores or yardwork etc. For the most part, if my two elder brothers and I wanted anything, we would generally find a way to get it. Most of the time it was never handed to us. Which I can really be grateful to my parents for doing. I had a paper route when I was 8-13 or so and I always had money to spend.

My parents paid for half of my mountain bike when I was 12. After that, we purchased entirely, a computer, Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Gameboys…everything like that. It worked out rather nicely. From 13 and up I always had a part time job. I didn’t go to post secondary, and I know my parents gave my other 3 siblings some money from an educational savings plan.

I purchased my first car at 18, and my first house at 19 without any help from my parents. And I have no problem with that at all. I am actually glad that I was forced to be self sufficient growing up.

I have no desire to spoil my future children (assuming I am fortunate enough to have some) however, in the same token, I would not sit back and watch them suffer financially. So I would definitely help them out financially, if they required it. Especially with the basic necessities of life. If they are suffering with credit card debt because of frivilous spending on the latest and greatest gadgets and gizmos…I wouldn’t be very sympathetic towards their cause.

Down payment on a car or house, wedding, and or post secondary or business venture I would have no issue with that either.

11 years ago

Oooh inheritance…it’s a touchy topic with me. I don’t plan to leave anything to kid (currently no kids) but rather help them a little bit (but not to spoil them) while they are young. My parents did help a little with me but I carried the majority of the costs myself (education, car, first house, wedding). My husbands parents were the same but to a lesser degree.

I grew up in a family where there was the “promise” of a large inherritance coming…but the older I get the less confident I feel it will be there. I resent that people that sit on money that they have no intention of spending while their kids and grandkids struggle…to me that just isn’t right. An inherritance isn’t going to make that much of a difference to me when I’m 60 but could make a huge difference to the quality of my life at age 30.

11 years ago

I don’t have a definite plan right now … but all I can say is don’t wait until you’re dead to give to charity. You’re not really charitable if you wait until your dead to do it. Make the personal sacrifice now and help those who are truly in need or those causes that are for the greater good.