Skipping a Generation, Elder Law Attorney, Woodstock, GA

One of the new post-Brexit ministers in the U.K. is urging grandparents to leave inheritances to their grandchildren instead of their children.

Gavin Barwell, the new Housing Minister in the U.K., has made an unusual request of older people in that country. To help younger people get started in life and accumulate wealth, he has asked that pensioners not leave their estates to their children, but leave them to their grandchildren instead.

According to a report in The Telegraph titled “Inheritance should skip a generation, says minister,” the main reason for the request is somewhat unique to the U.K. That country faces a housing shortage and rising prices that leave younger people without the means to buy a home.

The idea can still be helpful to some families in the U.S., however. Despite being the most educated generation in history, many Millennials are having a difficult time getting started with their careers as they are still affected by fallout from the Great Recession. For older Americans whose children have good careers and means of their own, it might be a good idea to skip a generation and leave their wealth to their grandchildren.

Anyone who does this, however, should make certain the entire family is aware of the plan and in basic agreement.

If the adult children are expecting the inheritance and have made plans for it, then bypassing them in favor of grandchildren is likely to cause bitter feelings and conflict within the family.

Reference: The Telegraph (Oct. 9, 2016) “Inheritance should skip a generation, says minister.


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