Inheritance: The Good and the Bad

The ugly case of Anna Nicole Smith is enough to better deconstruct the meaning and

The ugly case of Anna Nicole Smith is enough to better deconstruct the meaning and effects of inheritance. Anna was an American model and was first married to Billy Smith in 1985, and thenĀ  to J. Howard Marshall in 1994. Her marriage with the latter sparked outrage due to the age difference between them. Anna, 26 at the time, was seen as a gold-digger compared to Marshall, 89 at the time. A year after the marriage, Marshall died but left behind an infamous legal battle about inheritance.

Inheritance, or better-called succession, is the practice of leaving behind a sizable worth of property after death. Sometimes debts can be left behind for others to pay off; titles, rights, and privileges can likewise be passed on. However, the most commonly considered inheritance is that of private property which is conferred by a will. Glancing through the opinions of property owners on, inheritance is considered both bad and good. Although wealth management companies might want to dispute this, here are some things we can glean from the opinions.

The Good Side of Inheritance

Historic timelines are marked with succession after succession. The father would pass on his titles and privileges to his son who would be the heir. The reason behind this back then was plain continuity enamoured with honour and loyalty. This inheritance could be patrimonial (the bequeathed are the sons) or matrimonial (the bequeathed are the daughters). These sons or daughters are simply catered for by their parents and are trained on how to use and spend money. In modern times, inheritance serves as the duty of a parent to their children. Parents always want to leave their children with special parts of them. They consider it their death benefit. Besides, inheritance can pass as a form of incentive to workers who wish to own property and decide how to use it.

The Bad Side About Inheritance

In an age of income inequality, some people see inheritance as simply rewarding children for being “born lucky” and not as a parental gift. They believe it is unfair that children get to manage the wealth that could best be used to push social change. So they advocate for limited inheritance and hope the government will take control of the perpetuation and continuity of wealth by the rich. Another most common bad side of inheritance is that it keeps the people involved focused on it. This way, everyone in the family feels entitled to a form of wealth or another. In a family where the members are large and extended, especially one where there is no will, inheritance tends to lead to legal battles about rights and privileges. These court actions can breed animosity and can even split the bonds and ties of a family.

The Bottom Line

Inheritance is both good and bad. The good thing about it is that it keeps a family financially afloat even after the death of either parent. The bad thing is that it is usually mismanaged and has been seen as a form of entitlement. But in situations where the right wealth management companies are involved, inheritance is an incentive.