Home / Government / Controlling Your Children from Beyond the Grave
Print Friendly and PDF

Controlling Your Children from Beyond the Grave

Written by Gary North on January 7, 2013

I received this inquiry:

I have been purchasing 1 oz gold coins over the past several years as central bank insurance, and am beginning to accumulate a substantial amount. After I die, I’m afraid my heirs will immediately exchange this gold for paper currency units, having no idea or care of the gold’s importance. The solution is education, but how could I force this on my heirs before they get their hands on the gold?

He is afraid for good reason. He knows this because they are not yet buying gold coins.

He should tell them that they will inherit coins, but only on an ounce-for-ounce basis. Any coins that each heir might have inherited will be forfeited to a charity. The executor will be instructed to verify that each heir has coins or an equivalent quantity of gold bullion. In short, they earn the inheritance.

Alternatively, the executor sells all of the coins, buys an income-producing house in a high-rent region, hires a local property manager (10%), and then turns the property over to the heirs jointly. The heirs live off the income. If they sell the property and do not reinvest in another property within the tax code’s time limit on a tax-deferred exchange basis (IRC 1031), the money goes to the charity.

In short, if you don’t trust the good judgment of your heirs, do not leave them any money without chains attached.

The child who takes the surviving spouse into his/her home gets a double portion. Divide the inheritance into the same number of portions as there are children. Then allocate two shares to the caring child.

Tell them the rules as soon as your lawyer has the new will written.

Print Friendly and PDF

Posting Policy:
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse. Read more.

9 thoughts on “Controlling Your Children from Beyond the Grave

  1. Well, that's all and good. But is it really right that we try to control the lives of our children. After they become adults they need to learn to control themselves. If they squander their inheritance, then they must pay the consequences. I support the concept that children must reach a certain age (say 35) before they receive their inheritance, but then they must be responsible for their own actions. If our children are that irresponsible then we must not have done a very good job of raising them, teaching them the value of money, and the importance of conservation. The end result of the recommendation in the article will probably result in your children resenting you even more. Sorry but I think it is a bad concept.

  2. CarGuy451 says:

    It's the Golden Rule!

    He Who Has The Gold, Makes the Rules. If any of the kids don't like the rules, they may decline their share.

  3. Hucklebuck says:

    Ridiculous. After you're gone what do you care? We are supposed to educate while we raise them, not berate from the afterlife.

  4. Texas Chris says:

    Even if my kid IS frugal and buys gold, I'm STILL going to insure, through a similar scheme, that he's not going to poop off what I leave him.

    I expect my mother to leave all hers to the local opera house, or some such, and my father to leave each of us a rent house.

  5. So glad for this clear and doable advice. Two of my children are biblically responsible. One is borderline. Two are not responsible. I am responsible for discerning this and explaining it. I do not want to be wasteful with that which God has entrusted me. Inheritance is not an entitlement.

  6. It's called leaving a legacy. Maybe you have nothing worth being remembered for.

  7. bondservant says:

    People leave land with instructions for its use after their death all the time. What's the difference? And why would you want to leave something of value to someone who could ruin their life with it? If you are aware of their immaturity, do you not bear some responsibility if you make it worse? (the picture of leaving a beer factory to a drunk comes to mind) A foolish decision made while we're alive is a foolish decision – period – one which we're accountable for. Otherwise there's no real reason to train up my children in the way they should go… what difference does it make if I'm dead?

  8. jamesbbkk says:

    For the surviving spouse rule, shouldn't one divide the inheritance by the number of children plus 1 to get the extra share for double allocation? What'd I miss?

  9. Thinking the same thing.