At the Alchemia Group we are helping our clients think & act differently in regards to their wealth and its impact on thier family - because we know it is more than just numbers and plans, it's the Balance of Art & Science with Pragmatism and Vision.

Inheritance and Disinheritance: Different sides of the same coin…

Among celebrities there is a minor trend towards a ‘disinheritance position’. Scott Martin recently posted Why Are So Many Parents Disinheriting Their Kids? Ask Anderson Cooper Who Knows the Brutal Truth of Losing his $200 Million Inheritance on The Trust Advisor. In it he cites Sting, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Gloria Vanderbilt (Anderson Cooper’s mother), Ted Turner, Warren Buffet, Andrew Lloyd Weber and Gene Simmons as examples of promises of ‘No Trust Funds’. In some cases a promise of no trust fund doesn’t mean no wealth to children as Howard Buffet, Warren’s son, is reported to have a net worth of $200M.

But what is really going on? Disinheritance is based on the idea of preventing something. It is called by many names including, affluenza, trustafarianism, entitlement, etc. By denying their children an inheritance these wealth owners hope their heirs will become the ‘right type’ of person. The other side of the coin is a purposeful inheritance which actively promotes the values and life principles the dis-inheritors hope their children will develop.

In a very interesting book, Focus, Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson and E. Tory Higgins discuss the difference between having a prevention focus or a promotion focus. Neither in and of itself are bad but an awareness of your natural style can help you achieve much more. For most of us we shift from prevention focus and promotion focus all the time based on situations. Generally though, we have a ‘bias’ or a dominant focus. Many times either focus will lead to a good outcome. For example, dis-inheritance coupled with proactive wealth training can prevent entitlement. On the other hand a well-designed, thoughtful, and purposeful inheritance can promote the productive and empowering use of financial resources. Understanding your focus and your end goal (promoting or preventing) can make all the difference in the success of your family wealth plan.

You can do a short assessment to find your natural focus here.



Inheritance and Disinheritance: Different sides of the same coin…