My children have refused to communicate with me for several years and I’m considering cutting them out of my will. Why would I be generous to children who won’t have anything to do with me.
Dear Reader, I would certainly sympathize with the impulse to leave them out of your will if they had refused contact for several years. However, if I were going to leave my children with a long-lasting message that would carry on after my death, it would be one of generosity and dedication, despite how unjustly I believed that I was treated by them. Our parents are with us long after they die, and we will be with our children long after we’re gone. Imagine how powerful it would be to give your child his or her inheritance with a letter of love and-without guilt-regret that you couldn’t be closer in your lives together. Also imagine how powerful it would be to acknowledge in your will that he or she must have had his or her reasons to have cut off contact. Now consider the message you send if you leave your child nothing, or only leave the inheritance to the child who remained close to you. There would be damage done to the child left out of the inheritance and there won’t be any satisfaction to you in it. I believe that, as parents, we need to think of how those consequences will play out well after we’re gone. And, it is also possible for children to forgive us after we’re gone for whatever ways that we wronged them, or for whatever ways that they believed that we wronged them. So, I think that leaving your children their inheritance is not only good for them but also for their memory of us.