King Solomon was acclaimed the richest and wisest man to ever live. He discovered a number of revelations near the end of his life in his book Ecclesiastes. One that makes me ponder and reflect is, “I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool?” Ecclesiastes 2:18-19, 21
Wow! If the wisest man to ever live said that, shouldn’t I spend just a few moments reflecting on it as well?
Many of us are quick to decide that our kids are going to get all that remains of the estate beyond any taxes. Well, today the estate tax exemption is $5, 640,000. Not many of us are going to have to deal with an estate tax and those that do will still have millions to give the kids. But the question remains, have you reflected on how much and in which way you are going to give to the kids?
I have read books and seen in person the horrors of kids receiving unmerited gifts. Kids can be quite different when money is involved. I have seen greed, selfishness, and envy. I have seen one person angrily pursue her brothers for her inheritance a year or so before her mom was even dead. It can get ugly, yet most of us do not give it much thought.
Is that how God would have us deal with an inheritance?
God owns everything. First, he created us and then bought us back at a horrible cost with Jesus. He not only owns everything but he also wants us to go to Him for all of our decisions about that which he has given to us. Do you live that way? The Bible tells us, “He must increase and I must decrease.” John 5: 30
We, therefore, own nothing. We are called by God to be managers to carry out His will for His property.
So the question remains, what will you give of “God’s” riches to your children that you are currently managing? Makes the question a bit more onerous doesn’t it?
4 points to consider:
- I believe God wants us to reflect and take seriously what we give our children after we have eternally relocated.
- He wants us to see the gift as an asset that He owns and has entrusted us to carefully consider how it will glorify Him
- He wants us to reflect on how the gift will serve the Kingdom
- He wants us to honestly assess how our children pass four maturity markers:
Spiritual Maturity Marker #1
(An Heir’s Relationship with God)
Emotional Maturity Marker #2
(An Heir’s Relationship with Himself)
Relational Maturity Marker #3
(An Heir’s Relationship with Others)
Financial Maturity Marker #4
(An Heir’s Relationship with Money)
God doesn’t call us to merely give to charity. He simply wants us to honor what He has given us as a gift and to be responsible to Him in how we distribute it.
If we take leaving an inheritance seriously, we will be able to determine with certainty that our children are not “fools” but “wise” when they receive the gift and we will be able to better discern how God wants us to use what he generously gave to us.
Download The Master’s Plan!
This is a book about transforming your family legacy – both today and in generations to come. It is for Christian families who want to eliminate estate and capital gains taxes, maintain their current lifestyle, pass on an appropriate inheritance to their heirs, maximize giving to worthy ministries, create healthier family relationships and leave a lasting legacy to impact God’s kingdom.
By Joe Sturniolo
Christian Family Legacy and Wealth Planning
Joe believes that stronger families are the vehicle God uses to bring about significant impact for His Kingdom.