Inherited wealth can be an enhancement to one's life and it can be a nearly unbearable burden. Here's an article that gives a good, basic overview of several of the possible effects and considerations of inheriting money. From "Danger: Riches Ahead" (Intelligent Life):
"I found out just after my 21st birthday," says Emily. "I was called into a room full of men in suits, and told..." A couple of decades on, Emily is still uncomfortable enough with the subject of money to trail off before she gets to the end of her sentence.
Emily (not her real name) is the daughter of an old British industrial family, brought up in a baronial hall in the north of England. There were plenty of bedrooms and a certain number of servants, but in England they do not necessarily go with a lot of disposable cash; so the news that she was worth many millions of pounds came to her as a shock. How did she feel? "Surprised. A bit pleased. Embarrassed. Awkward. Not really knowing what was expected of me. I think I had a hangover at the time."
She and her siblings have reacted differently to their money. She has spent some of her life pretending it was not there-working as a modestly paid professional, living in Africa-and some of it trying to spend it well by patronising the arts. One of her brothers treats his wealth as a responsibility and a burden, determined to increase it, and infuriated by governments that try to take it away from him. The other has fun with his. But whatever their differences, they have one thing in common that sets them apart from the rest of humanity: inherited wealth.
A great deal is written about the pursuit of money. The business of disposing of it is less thoroughly explored. ...
Click to read the rest.