Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Who Will Inherit From You? May 27, 2011

Have you thought about your plans for after you’re gone? Do you know who will inherit what from you? If you don’t have children who will automatically inherit, have you given consideration to where you’ll pass along your worldly goods?

I’ll admit that I don’t have a plan in place, mainly because a) I don’t have much to leave anyone, and b) I’m not planning on checking out anytime soon, but the thought does pop into my mind once in a while, and at some point, I’ll want to get something down on paper. My main concern is that my family possessions – photos, keepsakes, and a couple of bits of jewelry – stay in my family, which most likely means leaving them to my nieces and nephews.

I came across this article this week, about a Pasadena couple who left $8 million to their alma maters. The couple had no children and quietly amassed their fortune and lived very unassuming lives. Their neighbors spoke fondly of a kind and quiet couple who were an integral part of the community, but never showy. I read this article and thought, “that’s how I’d want to be.”

Contrast that with these two articles, the first about Elizabeth Taylor’s children allegedly at war over her $600 million estate, and the other about three brothers in South Africa battling over the fortune they will (or will not) inherit from their wealthy childless aunt.

I don’t expect to have millions for my relatives to battle over when I’m gone, but I would like to make sure that the people I care about have something to remember me by. I’d hate to think of my most treasured (if not monetarily valuable) possessions ending up on the shelves of Goodwill.