Don't Finance Misbehavior

Colleen and her husband have a will but need to update it. They aren't sure how to divide the money among all the kids, especially since two of the stepsons are irresponsible.

QUESTION: Colleen in Springfield and her husband have a will but need to update it. Their children are all grown, and Colleen also has three stepsons. They aren’t sure how to divide the money among all the kids, especially since two of the stepsons are irresponsible. There are also grandchildren. Dave explains how he would do it.

ANSWER: Typically, if you leave a drug user money, they will use it for drugs. If they want to be resentful of the younger kids, be resentful.

What I will do is have a reading of the will when you’re done. Go to each family and say you really need them to understand what you’re doing with the will and why. Then if their life changes, you’ll put them in the will.

But your goal as parents is to love them and do good things for them, and buying their drugs upon your death is not a good thing. So you’re not willing to do that. You are not going to be leaving them money as long as they are engaged in this behavior and that behavior and that behavior.

They can be mad about that, but they can go ahead and be mad now. If they want to talk about it, you’ll talk about it. You are not angry with them. You are just not going to finance misbehavior on their part.

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