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How important is an inheritance?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Rubato 1, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. Rubato 1

    Rubato 1 New Member

    Mar 31, 2006
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    Biblically, what should our view be as far as preparing an inheritance for our children? The Bible doesn't mention it much in the NT, but it seems important in the OT. I know some that say "I'll give it all to the church, so I know it is used for a good cause." Is this something that should be considered only if the children are reprobate?

    Should it be a priority?
    Or something that if we can, great, if not, OK?
    Or is it a bad idea, giving our children money they did not work for?

    What do you believe?
  2. Palatka51

    Palatka51 New Member

    Oct 25, 2007
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    Even if you wanted to give your children an inheritance the govt is going to get it's share. I think that it is our responsibility to leave an inheritance for our children. We can't take it with us. However, If one wants to give it to charity that is their decision. Just as with giving of your money one should give with grace and joy what they have purposed to give, as God has prospered.
  3. webdog

    webdog Active Member
    Site Supporter

    Mar 31, 2005
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    For parents, it's not a priority.
    For children, it is :)

    Seriously, I hope to leave my children a very large inheritance. I want to supply for them, and I pray that I set the example for them how to be a good financial steward so they in turn do the same.
  4. Alcott

    Alcott Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Dec 17, 2002
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    That would seem to depend on the individual. But I think it is a priority to know what will happen with your estate when you go, and if you desire something else, then to be sure you do have a valid will.

    Isn't somebody going to get money they did not work for, if there is any money left after all is taken care of? If you don't think your children should get it, for whatever reason, obviously you can choose otherwise.

    Should the church get money it "did not work for?" Leaving it (or some or much of it) to a church is obviously an option, but one thing to consider is that you don't know for certain that it will b e "used for a good cause." Even if you are totally convinced your church now is responsible with its funds, that may not be so in the future. I would prefer more specific designation than just "to the church;" to missions, to building fund, for examples.

    I am familiar, and was somewhat involved, in a case about 26 years ago, in which the widowed lady that lived across the street somehow made friends with this man and joined this man's (Baptist) church-- but I don't know which of those 2 events came first. Anyway, this lady-- who I thought was 'mean' when I was a kid-- began to like me and asked for a few favors for which she paid me, though sometimes I declined the payment. She eventually asked me to help her pay her bills writing the checks that she signed, and I could see that she was "losing it." Sometimes on the signature line she wrote "Thank You," or wrote the monetary amount on the payee line, thinking she hadn't written anything on those lines. And she was becoming paranoid, calling the police a few times to report a break-in when there was no sign of it, for example. Meanwhile, she was getting more friendly with this man, who usually drove her to church and came to her house a couple of times during the week, and my dad said she told him that her family didn't contact her unless they wanted money [she had owned a cafe years earlier and had quite a bit of it]. Finally she died, and later her will was contested by her family. She had changed her will to give all of her estate to that man and the church they both attended (I don't know amounts or proportions). While I don't really know her family's motives or that man's motives, I was aware, as I mentioned, that she was 'losing it' during those last 2 or 3 years, so if she changed her will during that time (it seems inevitable she did) that she was not really of "sound mind" to do it. So I conclude that man befriended her and probably turned her against her family largely-- if not completely-- for the reason of getting her estate, with the church possibly being enough of a 'cover' to make his act look legitimate-- possibly 'justified' in his own sight.

    So that story is one reason I am inclined to be negative about willing your estate to your church, and more so to a new friend in old age. That man did prevail in the case, got her money and sold her house. While I realize this part is hearsay, even though it's a quarter century later, I also heard that that man did the same thing to other widowed ladies in a similar position. If so, he was a legal con artist, and I have no idea if the church (with which I know he was highly reputable) was suspicious of him, or perhaps a willing party to this.
  5. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member
    Site Supporter

    Jun 26, 2003
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    Proverbs 13:22, "A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, and the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous. "

    If one leaves an inheritance to his children's children it is much more than monetary providence but soul providence.
    #5 gb93433, Apr 7, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 7, 2008
  6. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith New Member

    Jan 27, 2006
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    Your question reminds me of what was written about billionaire investor Warren Buffett, when he decided to leave almost all of his vast estate to charity. This is from a CNN article:

    Buffett is not cutting his children out of his fortune because they are wastrels or wantons or refuse to go into the family business -- the traditional reasons rich parents withhold money. Says he: ''My kids are going , to carve out their own place in this world, and they know I'm for them whatever they want to do.'' But he believes that setting up his heirs with ''a lifetime supply of food stamps just because they came out of the right womb'' can be ''harmful'' for them and is ''an antisocial act.'' To him 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.'' For a college graduate, Buffett reckons ''a few hundred thousand dollars'' sounds about right.

    I have hightlighted his basic principle. Admittedly it would be interpreted by different people in varying circumstances in inconsistent ways. But there is a nugget there for us.

    I serve as a part-time state Baptist Foundation Executive, working to encourage people to use a part of their estates for Baptist causes. "I need to leave it to my children" is the single most used objection I hear to my pleas.
  7. menageriekeeper

    menageriekeeper Active Member

    Feb 20, 2004
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    LOL! How far we have come in this country from the days when we were glad if Mom and Dad had enough to support their old age to expecting to receive what is left over!

    Not only am I not spending my life accumulating material goods so my children will have a "decent inheritance", I'm not planning on paying for their college education either.

    It didn't hurt me to work through college, it won't hurt them either. Matter of fact, I don't believe I'd be the same person if I hadn't had to rely on myself and God to get through those years.

    Oh, and I'm praying my parents have enough to carry them through the Alzheimer's disease that afflicts my mother. Inheritance? LOL!

    Anyhow, how will our children learn to rely on the provision of the Lord, if we've done the providing for them?