Hi, this is Mathias, and today we talk about inheriting with Gisela Enders from Berlin who is already FI. She’s got a coaching business and specialized in coaching women when they have to deal with the money of their parents. We talk about how to prepare with your brothers and sisters, social norms, the emotions involved, the mindset you need, tax issues, how to write down your last will and so on. Attention: this is not only relevant for men and people above 50! It’s of course also interesting for people in their 30th. Have fun!
We also talk about:
- Inheritance taxes
- Talking about inheritance
- Inheritance and real estate
- Culture shock
- Financial consultants
- Preparing last will
Women and money: from past to present
Gisela worked as a CEO in an environmental NGO and for 10 years she’s self-employed as a coach and trainer. In her career, she has worked with many women and has found that very often their approach to money is to simply leave it to other people so that they can deal with it. This has deep cultural roots, as Gisela brings up the example that in Germany until 1977 when women got married their money went automatically to their husband. And with regards to inheritance, in some countries, it’s possible to assign money to the son and not to the daughter. In her coaching activity, Gisela works to remove this bias.
The fairness of inheriting money
Another bias that is quite common in our society is that inheriting money has some kind of ‘unfairness’ to it because not everyone inherits in the same way, and this can produce a sense of guilt in people who inherit significant amounts of money. Gisela looks at it from another perspective, linking the ability for a family to transfer wealth to the next generation with their ability to make and manage money in the first place. Once the wealth is acquired, it’s totally fair to transfer it. This same discussion informs how taxes on inheritance are seen, and this again varies from country to country.
The emotional impact of inheritance
In addition to guilt, the sudden acquisition of a great amount of money can produce very strong feelings, something that people who inherit must learn to deal with. For example, a common feeling is that at first this is not seen as ‘my money’: in case an activity is part of the inheritance, people can feel forced to keep working on it because it’s been the source of wealth for their family, even if it makes them unhappy. Many strong feelings must be understood in order to get as much benefit as possible from these newly acquired resources.
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