6 February 2015

‘It’s not about the money, money, money...’ Seven top tips for passing wealth to your children

‘It’s not about the money, money, money…’

So the song says – but is it?

Seven top tips for passing wealth to your children

Do you think you should give your children the financial comfort which you, perhaps, didn’t have? Or do you think that they should make their own way in the world? What is the right amount of money (if any) to give? And when and how should you give it?

These are just some of the questions which parents have been asking themselves for generations, and they are questions which often come up with our clients. So, we have decided to share from our experience some of the most commonly asked questions in relation to passing on wealth, and also share with you seven ‘top tips’ which have greatly benefitted our clients.

Each tip goes into some detail so we have split them up into a series of blogs. We hope you will enjoy digesting them at your leisure!

There are some things we can help you with. We can help you work out how much you need to live on for the rest of your life. And once we know that, we can help you work out how much money you could give away if you wanted to. We could then tell you how to give it away. But how much you should give is a personal issue. It very much depends on your own views.

“The challenge is to provide a safety net without encouraging a sense of entitlement.”

According to one commentator, Richard Downs, founder of, the ideal is to aim for the middle ground, as he recently expressed in the Financial Times:

“The best thing you can do is to give the kids a great education combined with love and support, and help them secure their first home and enjoy life. The challenge is to provide a safety net without encouraging a sense of entitlement. Ultimately if it is my children or the taxman, I guess I would go with the children”.

Some people take a more extreme view. The challenge for most, however, as Downs says, remains finding that balance between providing “a safety net” and “encouraging a sense of entitlement”. This is a view endorsed by Warren Buffett, the legendary investor and one of the world’s richest men, as revealed in his own comment on how much to leave the kids:

“Enough money so that they would feel they could do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing” (Fortune magazine).

But how on earth do you decide what that is? If you now fear that this is all much more complicated than you thought it was, don’t worry, you are not alone.

Read the first of our seven blog series here.

If you would like to discuss your financial planning options, please contact us with any questions you might have. You can do this by calling our head office on 0131 220 0000, or by emailing us at or you can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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