Australia’s richest person, billionaire Mom Gina Rinehart, is in a legal battle to strip her three children off their inheritance. She claims that none of them, either individually or collectively has the “knowledge, experience, judgment or responsible work ethic to administer a trust.” See more of the story at The Australian.
In the book The Millionare Next Door, key characteristics of self made millionaires are their work ethic, skills and drive. These characteristics are primarily derived out of necessity or personal motivation. They had to work for their money. Children who are regularly bailed out by parents do not develop these skills. They learn to rely on their parents or other sources for help.
As a parent, my goal is to provide the best future I can afford my child. I would not disinherit my son, but nor would I just give him everything he needs. I do not want him to develop any level of entitlement to his parents’ money or properties. I want him to earn his own place in the world. My goal is for my son to acquire the drive and skills necessary to succeed- be it financially or in other aspects of life. I want him to reach his full potential so I will guide him in that direction even at the cost of depriving him to a healthy extent. I will do my best to provide the tools he needs in life but I will expect him to do the rest. He has to be the main player of his destiny.
Another interesting question with this story is if Gina Rinehart’s kids lack the characteristics and skills necessary to run the family business, who’s fault is it? As a parent, does your sphere of influence and responsibility end at some point?