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Who merits great wealth?

Gerry W. Beyer of the Wills, Trusts, and Estates Prof Blog, just published the results of a survey of wealthy people. You know what they are worrried about? Not spoiling their kids with their inheritance. They will actually set condtions for their heirs to inherit money, to be sure their children have the proper values.

I am gratified to hear this. Power can corrupt, and money can bring power. It takes a person with strong moral character to to use it wisely. To me. the number one indicator that a person of great means deserves his wealth, is his humility. If he (or she) thinks he is a “king,” and uses his money to rule others, then he is not worthy of that power.

But if he uses it to empower others, then he is a man of great merit.

What do you think?

From Gerry

According to Jack Caporal, Motley Fool research analyst,
[w]hat’s clear is that high net worth individuals are concerned about the effects of leaving too large an inheritance. . .They are aware of and actively considering leaving inheritances with conditions that incentivize their heirs to pick up on values that they think are important, such as hard work, doing well in school, and finding a good career track.

The survey showed that 85% of high net worth individuals who had to meet certain conditions to receive their own inheritance agree that it is possible to leave too much money to an heir.