The will of the late, renowned actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was recently made public, and it’s sparking some interesting conversations about how much we should leave our children when we die. According to The Today Show, rather than bequeathing any of his $35 million fortune directly to his three young children, Hoffman left everything to their mother and his longtime partner, Mimi O’Donnell.
Court documents show that Hoffman rejected the advice of his lawyer and accountant to set up trusts for his children, all of whom are under the age of 10, saying he didn’t want them to be “trust fund kids.” Hoffman also said that he trusted O’Donnell to handle the estate and act in the children’s best interest, reports CNN.
So how much is too much to leave your heirs? Many parents who possess significant financial means worry that giving their children too much wealth will kill their motivation. According to NBC News, a recent survey found that many respondents with assets totaling $10 million or more fretted that their offspring “will lack the drive and ambition to get ahead.”
On the other hand, you certainly don’t want to leave your children destitute when you are in a position to offer them some financial support after you are gone. A conservative inheritance could be just what they need to succeed and realize their professional and personal dreams.
Today Show anchor and father Matt Lauer weighed in, advocating a balance between two extremes.
“The old saying is: You leave them enough to do something, not enough to do nothing,” he said during an on-air discussion.
Ultimately, inheritance planning is personal and varies widely depending on individual circumstances. If you’re thinking about how to plan for your children’s future, reach out to Local Life Agents to request a quote today.