Don’t Ruin your Kids with an Inheritance

I don’t believe in inheritances. I think they are one of our society’s worst traditions and a terrible thing to aspire to. Additionally, I don’t believe in retirement but that is another article entirely. Retirement and inheritance are two of the worst goals you can set. Yet the vast majority of us work 40-50 years to accomplish them.

Why do I dislike inheritances?

We often hear stories of sibling warfare when it comes to affairs of estate. It’s way too common that when parents pass away the kids are too worried about what they are going to get for themselves to even have time for grief. I am the youngest of eight kids and as scary as that sounds I couldn’t speak more highly of my siblings for how well my parent’s estates were handled in both situations. There was no arguing or fighting whatsoever. So what?s the problem, why don?t I like inheritances? My opinion wasn’t formed because of what happens with an inheritance after a person dies, my problem is what happens in a person’s life before they die.

What really happens to the money you leave?

Let?s face reality for a minute. If you’re working to leave an inheritance to your children this is likely what will happen to your money. Your children will:

  • Pay off Credit Card Debt (which they shouldn’t have in the first place and will likely charge again)
  • Take a trip to Disneyland (which they will not remember you provided and likely won’t think of you while they’re there)
  • Buy a new sports car (and drive very dangerously in it)
  • Lose the money in bad investments
  • Waste time playing video games

The varied ways they could use this money are endless, but the bottom line is this, statistically speaking the money you leave to your children will be gone in under 12 months and will have zero lasting impact on their lives.

What will your kids regret when you?re gone?

When my Dad died in 2010 he was living in Roosevelt Utah and I was living in Cedar City Utah. When my Mom passed away last year she was living in Vernal Utah and I was in St George Utah. The average drive from Southern Utah to the Uintah Basin is roughly eight hours when you have little kids which meant that my family and I got to see my parents maybe 5-6 times a year for a total of 15-20 days. As the sole breadwinner in my home and a commission-based professional, we didn’t have the time or money for more visits and that is one of the hardest things to accept now that they are gone.

What is the better alternative to an inheritance?

I can tell you from personal experience that if you’ve raised your kids right when you’re gone they won’t lament the money you didn’t leave them. Instead, they will regret not being able to spend more time being with you and making quality memories. Let me insert a brief note to you moms and grandmas, time and memories are what your kids want not gifts, these are two separate concepts. If you’re going to spend money on your kids, spend it on time being together, instead of buying them expensive birthday and Christmas presents. Consider joining them on the trips they take to Disneyland or the Grand Canyon or even just visiting them for no other reason but to be together. Invest in the memories they’ll have of you because your love and example will have far more impact on the people they will become than the few thousand dollars you leave when you’re gone.

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This is the last picture we took with the whole family before my Mom passed away.

How does a Reverse Mortgage fit in?

I’m not going to tell you that everyone should do a Reverse Mortgage. Of course, I love them and have seen them truly bless and change the lives of a lot of people. I wish I could have done a Reverse Mortgage for both of my parents because in both situations it would have freed up roughly $15,000 a year in mortgage payments. Someone can do a lot of traveling with that kind of additional spending money and I would have been able to create more wonderful memories with two of the people I love the most.

If you want more financial freedom for the things that truly matter but have put off looking at a Reverse Mortgage because you want to leave the equity to your kids, I implore you to reconsider and look at how a Reverse Mortgage could alter your legacy in a major way.

Trevor Carlson

Heritage Reverse Mortgage

President/Reverse Mortgage Specialist


Company NMLS #149745 Trevor?s NMLS #267962