In a typical American family, the expectation has always been that when the parents pass away, everything they have left will be inherited by their children. Those children will, in turn, do the same thing for their children.
This is just the way things are almost always done and always have been done.
However, there is another approach to inheritances that a few people have always taken.
The second approach suggests that parents should not leave their children everything, because it will spoil the kids.
A recent article in Forbes is an example of this second school of thought.
The article is titled "Why Not To Leave Too Much To Your Grown Up Kids."
The second approach comes from a belief that if children know they will receive large inheritances from wealthy parents, then they will have little incentive to make their own money. They will become entitled and lazy.
The thinking also goes that even if the children do not know ahead of time, they will become entitled once they do receive a large inheritance.
It is true that some people do become entitled when they know they will receive considerable wealth later.
Others do not.
The best solution for parents may be to take stock of the character of their own children and make a decision regarding what is best, given those characters.
An estate planning attorney can then help to create a plan that works, regardless what the children are likely to do or not do with their inheritance money.
Reference: Forbes (June 7, 2017) "Why Not To Leave Too Much To Your Grown Up Kids."