I had a couple as a client for many years. They had adopted a son who was quite irresponsible in all aspects of his life. He was in his early thirties, didn’t have a job, didn’t have any money, lived with mom and dad, and drove around in his mom’s BMW.
Mom had property at the ocean in New Jersey which was worth quite a pretty sum. I begged mom to set up a trust for her son. She understood he was immature and thoughtless, but she couldn’t bring herself to do the right thing because she would have to come to terms with the fact that the couple’s parenting skills were on the negligent side.
Dad died and left the son a small inheritance which he spent right away. Then mom died two years later. The son inherited a few hundred thousand dollars and spent through it in two and a half years. In the end, he had nothing to show for it except for a few high-end meals and I’m not sure what else. To say this was heartbreaking is an understatement.
The moral of the story is: Don’t set your children up to fail.