We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I have never had a super-rich client, but I have dealt with many wills and estates.
Some people say "Die broke." Most prefer to leave something for their kids and grandkids and make some modest sacrifices to do that. There is no "should." People ought to do whatever they want, even if it ruins their kids.
I am completely opposed to any death taxes. They are legal theft, and the money has already been taxed once. When families can accumulate assets over generations, families achieve independence and freedom.
The super rich aren't leaving "much of their fortunes" to their kids.
No, not much...
Hoffman... (not exactly among the super rich)... his $35M "his entire estate went to their mother, his longtime girlfriend." We can presume she won't be starving the poor little things.
"Nigella Lawson has stated she has no intention of leaving a substantial inheritance: “I am determined that my children should have no financial security. It ruins people not having to earn money.” What's her idea of a "substantial inheritance" and "financial security"?
Could it be similar to Bill and Melinda or Warren?
"Bill and Melinda Gates are giving a reported $10 million for each of their three children: pocket change compared with their $76 billion." The poor things will be living out of shopping carts within hours of their parents' demise!
"Buffett’s three kids each have a $2 billion foundation funded by Dear Old Dad." $2B each?!?! How's a yute to live?
"As Buffett famously put it, the perfect amount to leave children is “enough money so that they would feel they could do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing.” I guess that's $2B with some strings attached, heh?
And from some more, presumably, of the not so super rich but not eating much Hamburger Helper...
"“We were horrified by what might happen if they had control of a large amount of money at a young age,” he says. “The more we stared at that, the more we became uncomfortable.”
Inspired by Buffett’s example, they created trusts for each of their now college-age children. Each kid has $2.5 million controlled by trustees, who can release money only for education, health care, a home purchase or a business start-up. Any unspent money in the trust will continue to be invested and grow.
Those restrictions remain in place until each child reaches age 40; after that, the money is all theirs to do as they please. In their 20s and 30s, the funds are there to get them launched; by 40, their parents assume they will be mature enough to use the money wisely or save it as a safety net."
$2.5M each to help the buy a house or start a business. Hardly roughing it.
Its their money and they are free to do what they wish with it but this is feel good nonsense and little more than battle space prep to seize the liquid assets of that "...millions of baby boomers, who are poised to give away $30 trillion over the next 30 years — the largest transfer of wealth in U.S. history... What used to be a private family matter has become a public discussion about wealth, privilege and personal responsibility. Who gets the big money? Should it be the heirs? Or are they better off without it?:
They aren't after Buffet' or Gate's money - that's pocket change for the government. They are after those of us who might finish this life with a small bit to give the kids. That's where the $30T is.
The trust fund babies I am acquainted with have been given a network of business and social contacts worth every penny of the cash that is doled out to them. They know things and people the rest of us don't, and this may be why they seem not to live in what the rest of us call the real world. Their world is real enough, but it is vastly different from most of us.
I say leave the kids enough if you can, but more importantly, leave them who you know.