Andrew Lloyd Webber has created a fortune of more than $750 million, thanks to a string of lucrative musicals -- but his kids better keep their day jobs. In an interview with the Mirror, Lord Webber states that his five children will be seeing very little of his cash when he dies. The composer says, "They aren't bothered. They don't think that way. It is about having a work ethic -- I don't believe in inherited money at all."
Smart man. Inherited money can cause a lot of grief. I have seen it in my own family; a brother-in-law who quit working in his forties waiting for his inheritance from his parents who had the gall to use it for their own care. A cousin who blew his parents' life savings on a business he knew nothing about. A close friend who now is struggling to make ends meet after flushing a large inheritance on an poorly planned restaurant. Grandkids who received money and stopped working the same year.
There is something about inherited money that makes people lose their work ethic and think the money is endless. Like my brother-in-law, it often accompanies a sense of entitlement that becomes rigid and demanding. They spend their newfound money with gusto, making decisions a lot quicker than if they had earned each and every dime.
I have already informed my kids that they better not count on much from us. We plan to spend it. And if we do have some extra cash laying around, I'd rather help them a bit now; downpayment for real estate or paying off school bills. We have made it clear that if you want to make a good living, you have to work hard. That is the way the world really works.