February 7, 2017


In the book The Millionaire Next Door, the authors studied the impact of gifts of cash to children in their 30s and 40s. The essence of their research was that, for most children, gifts of cash are typically spent.

Furthermore, with the exception of elementary school teachers and college professors, children in other professions who received cash gifts actually had less in savings by retirement age than those who received no gifts. Those who received cash gifts not only spent the gifts but also continued to spend other personal cash and ended up with smaller estates than those who had received no gifts.


This is a concern of all parents. If an estate is substantial, it is a very important issue to consider. Nearly everyone knows of cases where a large inheritance was transferred to an individual and it was spent in very unhealthy ways. Indeed, sometimes the size of the inheritance contributes to tearing down rather than building up the child's character. Perhaps the best gift most parents and grandparents should consider is education, which can be used during an entire lifetime. Because one competes with other students in the class, education is also a very good character-building exercise. A second very fine gift that may not involve significant financial resources is to give help with a career or business. Many businesspeople are able to assist their children in starting careers or businesses through advice and financing. These opportunities are excellent because the child then has the self-esteem derived from building a career or a business of his or her own. Another strategy is to wait for a reasonable level of maturity. Some parents wait until the children are in their 40s or 50s to start gifting programs. At that time, values are more likely to be established for the children and they are more likely to make productive use of the property.

Give to Your Heirs while giving back

A charitable remainder unitrust can generate a stream of payment for you and your loved ones as well as teaching about philanthropy at the same time. Request our charitable remainder unitrust kit today to learn more and see if this option is best for your family.


One goal of parents is to teach values to children. We all hope that our children will be honest, loving, loyal, faithful, true and upright. A very effective teaching method is to use planned giving concepts. These planned giving opportunities can provide benefits for children and a remainder to charity. In using these gift plans, the parent teaches the child to consider both the family and the extended family in planning. If major benefit for the extended family can be realized through tax savings, this becomes a particularly powerful lesson.

Consider creating a charitable remainder unitrust. This type of trust pays money to your family but also benefits a non-profit organization. Any funds remaining in the trust (after all payments have been made) would go to the Texas A&M Foundation to enhance Texas A&M’s capability to be among the best universities. Aside from ensuring a lasting legacy at Texas A&M in your name, this trust also gives you and your family significant tax benefits.

The information provided in and accompanying this article is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal or tax advice. You are encouraged to consult with your attorney for assistance in drafting the necessary documents to make a charitable gift.