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Let’s Talk About It! Are Parents Helping Kids by Leaving No Inheritance?


It is their money after all, right?

For the past few years, we have heard of billionaires including Bill and Melinda Gates, as well as Warren Buffett have revealed that they will not be leaving a chunk of their billions to their children.

At a TED Talk in March 2014, Bill Gates said that “They need to have a sense that their own work is meaningful and important.” If you missed it, read it here

Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson a few years ago, said “I am determined that my children should have no financial security. It ruins people not having to earn money”

Just a few days ago, one of the most successful rock stars of all time Sting in an interview with Daily Mail UK made it clear that his children will also have to earn their own ways and should not expect to benefit from his £180 million earnings.

Sting said;

“I told them there won’t be much money left because we are spending it! We have a lot of commitments. What comes in, we spend, and there isn’t much left.

I certainly don’t want to leave them trust funds that are albatrosses round their necks.

They have to work. All my kids know that and they rarely ask me for anything, which I really respect and appreciate.

Obviously, if they were in trouble I would help them, but I’ve never really had to do that. They have the work ethic that makes them want to succeed on their own merit.”

Yes, the conversation has been discussed on BN, but we will like to know if parents are truly helping their children by leaving no inheritance? Let’s Talk About It!

Photo Credit: Shi Wong


  1. Benson Ossai

    June 27, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    The good legacy you can leave for your children is Education.If you can provide education, shelter,and other basic necessities of life, you have done it all. They should be able to find their way out in this demanding world if they are hard working and have good work ethics they would succeed,instead of living so much if when not well manage end up ruining their lives.

  2. TA

    June 27, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    I think it up to the parents to decide if they will leave their adult children an inheritance. Everyone knows it is their absolute obligation to care for their minor children until they are old enough to fend for themselves. If they are grown and the parents choose to leave an inheritance or not,that is their perogative,they are not obligated to. Lord knows if I had billionaire parents,of course I would want an inheritance 🙂 hehehe. LOL!

  3. mujer

    June 27, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Parents dont have to leave their kids too much of an inheritance but they can give them a good start in life. For example, in western society, parents can pay the tuition so that kids can focus on doing what they love doing. It is only when you do what you love doing that you are truly happy and successful. Second, parents should help kids with that wedding, and a fraction of that first home. These types of bills are the things that distract young people and hinder their progress. It is what gets them stuck in jobs that they hate. It is what keeps them in places that create so much stress they lose themselves in the process. Parents could also offer assistance through that first business loan. In all, the child needs to know that certain things wont fall from the sky or they become entitled. That is just the best way to raise a child. You want Louboutin, go and earn the kind of money to buy it. Cant earn the money, work harder or figure out how to get it through clean work. So bottom is I somewhat concur.

  4. Nuna

    June 27, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    My parents are of the same mindset too! I believe kids should be raised to appreciate hard work, delayed gratification and dignity in labour. I completely agree with sting. Raise them to know that no amount of inheritance is more important than hardwork. My dad is considerably wealthy, but he has told all of us that he wont be leaving us with anything, and all he intends leaving us with in the best education in the world and all the support he can give us as our father. We are all doing very well and as for his money, we know we are all fine without it. If he ends up leaving us with inheritance, fine. If he doesnt, fine as well

    • Author Unknown

      June 27, 2014 at 3:19 pm

      Just curious Nuna, as I’ve never had this type of conversation with mine. I get the part of education being the best legacy as my folks say the same. But when he talks about inheritance and not leaving one, is he referring to depleting his resources, or leaving it to someone else? Just curious to know if any one of you asked why not, and how he responded.

  5. TA

    June 27, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    I think it up to the parents to decide if they will leave their adult children an inheritance. Everyone knows it is their absolute obligation to care for their minor children until they are old enough to fend for themselves. If they are grown and the parents choose to leave an inheritance or not,that is their perogative,they are not obligated to. Lord knows if I had billionaire parents,of course I would want an inheritance hehehe. LOL! 🙂
    One thing is obvious though, wealthy parents who don’t leave their children an inheritance are making them work harder than they might not have. Whether that does them good or harm? well the jury is still out…

    • Jo!

      June 27, 2014 at 1:39 pm

      TA, we have heard

    • TA

      June 27, 2014 at 3:20 pm

      Lol! Nor vex jor. My comment kept disappearing so i posted it multiple times.

  6. Doxa

    June 27, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    It’s biblical to leave an inheritance for your children. In the book of Luke, we have the parable of the prodigal son. One son squandered his while the father was still alive, the other did not request for his before time. Also in the book of Job, at his latter end, we see that he left an inheritance for his children, including his daughters.
    A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children (Proverbs 13:22). Infact the bible also encourages that apart from your children, you should leave something for your grandchildren too. Like the case of the prodigal son, I don’t think it should be about whether they will squander it or not. Anyway if you train your children up properly, they will not be wasteful.
    In my family, parents have always left an inheritance for their children, some have squandered, some have not. I personally will leave an inheritance for my children. Everyone is entitled to their opinion/decision sha.

    • yassbeetch

      June 27, 2014 at 2:11 pm

      Inheritance is an unexpected bonus, its using ur children as ur guaranteed pension that most mere mortals have to content with.

  7. pynk

    June 27, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Haha his topic never ceases to amaze me. Beyond an education, no parent is obligated to any child in terms of an inheritance. If you know how many wills and estates are being disputed for donkey years in nigerian courts you would be amazed. Some of these children now adults have made very little of themselves.
    my father told us since we were teenagers that we had no inheritance. Past secondary school you were grateful to get anything out of him.
    He is a pharmacist an has gone as far as telling us in recent times that he doesnt expect to live beyond the next 20 years and he will liquidate all his assets and when he is done spending the money will inject himself to death so we dont put him in a nursing home. Firebrand parenting.
    With talk like that myself and my siblings realised our successes or failures are solely dependent on our hardwork and have done relatively ok thus far as we are all under 35.
    Being the closest to the old man,
    When you expect nothing from others you are likely to tighten ur bootstraps and get going on your own journey.

  8. Quirky

    June 27, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    @ Doxa, i agree with you and you are in fact right. It is biblical to leave an inheritance for your children and even your grand children. ( the reference in the bible has skipped my memory now, but when i remember i will post it) I think parents should leave inheritance for their children. The trick is not to give them any idea that they are getting any, that way they work for every dime they get while you are alive.

  9. Author Unknown

    June 27, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    How about we have a conversation about Nigerian (or African) parents dying without making wills, and leaving behind illegitimate children, and in the case of men (“other wives”) to fight over their inheritance. That’s the true African picture we should be discussing. LOL. On your question, it’s completely up to each individual to decide whom they wish to leave their asset to. Every family situation is different, so it’s never a one size fits all. I get where these celebs are coming from, but you could also control how the inheritance is distributed and accessed.

  10. jcsgrl

    June 27, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Good topic, If I had money to leave them I would definitely give my children up to grandchildren as well as to charity. But charity will take over half of it. I also concur with helping your children bear the cost of things like wedding, down payment for homes or biz loans that is assuming I have raised them to be very responsible

  11. mee

    June 27, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    LOL! so y’all thought that because Bill Gates said he’s not leaving an inheritance for his children means that they won’t live on their father’s money? Leaving an inheritance for your kids doesn’t even make sense in America because with it comes a large tax bracket of 40% or more depending….These people would rather leave “trust” for their kids because it is financially logical. Why would a sane person work so hard and not leave anything for his or her descendants.

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