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Heirs miss out on inheritance but proud of parent's giving

Heirs miss out on inheritance but proud of parent's giving

News (UK)

The children of wealthy parents can expect to enjoy less of their inheritance as 62% of those with liquid assets of £250,000 or more plan to spend their money or put it into charitable organisations, new research from shows.

And nine out of ten people would be proud and pleased to see their parents leave a gift to charity in their will, after they looked after friends and family, recent research from Institute of Fundraising and Remember a Charity says.

“Children can feel very proud of their parents’ desire to support the causes they care about,” said Professor Cathy Pharoah, Co-Director of the ESRC Research Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy at Cass Business School. “Charitable legacies have the power to help shape the world for future generations.”

Richard Harris, founder of, an online will writing service, says that parents do not want to take away their children’s ambition and subsequently pass on the majority of the fortune to charitable causes they feel passionate about. “They are placing more emphasis on leaving a legacy that will benefit society,” he says.

Reflecting this a number of high profile wealthy individuals have pledged to give a large part of their legacy to charity and to help instil a work ethic in their children. They include:

  • Warren Buffett, US investor worth $62bn (£38.8bn) according to the 2008 Forbes list, who said he will leave his children “enough so that they feel they could do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing.”
  • Bill Gates plans to give most of his fortune away before he dies and leave $10m (£6.3m) to each of his children.
  • Duncan Bannatyne, Dragon’s Den entrepreneur and father of six , has set up a trust fund for his children but warns them they must justify their inheritance.

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