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    • MSE Naomi
    • By MSE Naomi 3rd Apr 18, 3:33 PM
    • 14Posts
    • 1Thanks
    MSE Naomi
    MMD: Should I leave money to my gambling son in my will?
    • #1
    • 3rd Apr 18, 3:33 PM
    MMD: Should I leave money to my gambling son in my will? 3rd Apr 18 at 3:33 PM
    This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

    My son has racked up over £2,000 in credit card debt through a gambling addiction. He has stopped betting but admits he'd likely waste any money I left him. I don't want to leave him out of my will but I also don't want to allow him to get into more gambling debt.

    Unfortunately the MSE team can't always answer money moral dilemma questions as contributions are often emailed in or suggested in person. They are intended to be enjoyed as a point of debate and discussed at face value.

    If you haven't already, join the forum to reply!

    Got a money moral dilemma of your own? Suggest an MMD.

    This Forum tip was included in MoneySavingExpert.com's weekly email!
    Last edited by MSE Luke; 03-04-2018 at 7:04 PM.
Page 2
    • lilmisstrouble
    • By lilmisstrouble 4th Apr 18, 11:02 AM
    • 17 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    lilmisstrouble
    Put it in a trust and specify what it can be used for ie not gambling debts
    • REJP
    • By REJP 4th Apr 18, 1:11 PM
    • 39 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    REJP
    If he really wants to stop gambling point him towards Gamblers Anonymous.
    I will treat my children as equals in my will, I cannot decide for them what they spend the money on when I am dead, that will be their right to spend or save.
    Don't try to control from the grave.
    I totally agree with archie 1411.
    • crmism
    • By crmism 4th Apr 18, 1:42 PM
    • 103 Posts
    • 63 Thanks
    crmism
    Wayward son
    Why not give your son a life interest in the money, rather than an outright gift?

    That way, he will have no control over the capital sum, only the income it produces. You could make a further provision in your will to the effect that, on his death, the money will go somewhere else - a charity, say, or the other legatees who survive him.

    Doing it that way, you can go to your grave knowing that you did what you could to curb his profligacy, and such a measure will surely help your son to understand the value of money and the pointlessness of gambling.
    • doctorblunkett
    • By doctorblunkett 4th Apr 18, 3:49 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 39 Thanks
    doctorblunkett
    What's bad is having to read this drivel on every single dilemma. This is actually a fantastic, complex dilemma. I find it flabbergasting that some people have so very little to do with their time that this is the highlight of their morning.
    Originally posted by tain
    100% agree. it boggles my mind that not only do they keep coming back, but that they seem to complain about it every single time.

    top tip: if you don't like reading something, stop reading it.
    • SunnyBunny
    • By SunnyBunny 4th Apr 18, 5:04 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    SunnyBunny
    I think that leaving money to relatives is a real dilemma, unless you disribute equally there is always a bit of a drama. In my family we were lucky enough to receive an equal inheritance and one family member had an alcohol addiction - when they got their share they did not use it all on booze - in fact they were quite careful with it and when they sadly passed away (not, surprisingly, from alcohol caused illness) they were able to leave their 2 children a nice amount of money.

    Another friend's father sold the family house and gave one sibling a large amount double figures and the other sibling much smaller single figure amount - they did not fall out but it left a bit of a nasty feeling for a while.

    The nicest story from a woman I worked with, when she and her husband decided to give her younger son a big deposit on a flat, the older daughter was totally in agreement -- she was successful and comfortablely off - this doesn't always happen - sometimes those with the most still want what they see as "their share".
    • Pdbaggett
    • By Pdbaggett 4th Apr 18, 5:41 PM
    • 89 Posts
    • 66 Thanks
    Pdbaggett
    Simple? Do you have a problem with gambling ? If yes then he gets nothing if no then leave him his fair share.
    • chamagirl
    • By chamagirl 4th Apr 18, 6:04 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    chamagirl
    Make sure you live life to the full, go on a cruise or holidays and enjoy your money, then there will be less to leave to anyone.
    • gloriouslyhappy
    • By gloriouslyhappy 5th Apr 18, 12:41 AM
    • 370 Posts
    • 738 Thanks
    gloriouslyhappy
    Gambling is a horrible addiction, and like any other addiction, you never get over it, you just learn to manage it, if you're lucky and have plenty of support. Addiction has potentially devastating consequences for families not just the individual concerned, so inheriting a large sum of money might cause real problems. If it were me, I would look into other options such as a trust fund paying out a small regular monthly allowance, or the purchase of a house or flat where they - and their family if they had one - have right of abode for life but cannot sell or raise a loan on it, or something similar.

    My preferred option would be to secure a residence for them so whatever else happened, they and their dependants would have a guaranteed roof over their heads. Quite a few posters think the money should be given outright and let them do what they want with it, but that might be like giving an alcoholic the keys to the local off licence, not a good idea to my way of thinking. If the money went towards their dwelling place, that would free up what they're now spending monthly on rent or mortgage so they would still have the choice of what to spend these freed-up funds on.

    There is help out there for addiction, but gambling is a particularly insidious addiction, and having stayed up late to watch the cricket from down under, I am totally horrified at the plethora of late night gambling company ads all over the television and think the so-called 'industry' should be regulated more, especially as people are more vulnerable in the wee small hours when not many support networks are available. 'When the fun stops, stop' is a pretty useless way to end all these gambling ads, it's way too late for that.
    • Cimscate
    • By Cimscate 5th Apr 18, 9:37 AM
    • 125 Posts
    • 137 Thanks
    Cimscate
    Help now would perhaps be better
    This is tricky but a bit of a minefield - where do you draw the line at deciding how children will spend their inheritance. Maybe talk to him explaining your reservations and set a time limit where you help to manage the addiction and pay for help he needs.
    • Staffybullterrier
    • By Staffybullterrier 6th Apr 18, 9:06 AM
    • 7 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Staffybullterrier
    I totally agree wit Happyinflorida and totally disagree with Detroit.
    You should use a solicitor to drip feed your money to your son if you don`t think that you can trust him. I know from experience in our family that gambling addiction is hard to break and if he gets a pile of money in his hand he will not be able to help himself and return to gambling.
    Do not give it to charity especially the big ones as they will waste it as well on fancy offices , fancy company cars and 6 figure salaries
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 6th Apr 18, 11:58 AM
    • 9,366 Posts
    • 10,324 Thanks
    AnotherJoe
    No.

    Nobody should leave anyone any money in their will. You should spend what you need during your life and leave what's left to charity.

    Any money your son wants or needs, for gambling or any other purpose, he should earn himself.
    Originally posted by Detroit
    yeh, its important the people running charities have their massive salaries and pensions propped up rather than your kids get a few quid..
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 6th Apr 18, 4:24 PM
    • 2,663 Posts
    • 7,123 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    yeh, its important the people running charities have their massive salaries and pensions propped up rather than your kids get a few quid..
    Originally posted by AnotherJoe
    Have I stumbled into Mail Online by accident?
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 6th Apr 18, 4:28 PM
    • 1,708 Posts
    • 2,283 Thanks
    NeilCr
    yeh, its important the people running charities have their massive salaries and pensions propped up rather than your kids get a few quid..
    Originally posted by AnotherJoe
    I always support small local charities who are mostly staffed by volunteers. I know what they do and have a pretty good idea where the money is going.
    • Detroit
    • By Detroit 7th Apr 18, 2:11 PM
    • 747 Posts
    • 2,332 Thanks
    Detroit
    I totally agree wit Happyinflorida and totally disagree with Detroit.
    You should use a solicitor to drip feed your money to your son if you don`t think that you can trust him. I know from experience in our family that gambling addiction is hard to break and if he gets a pile of money in his hand he will not be able to help himself and return to gambling.
    Do not give it to charity especially the big ones as they will waste it as well on fancy offices , fancy company cars and 6 figure salaries
    Originally posted by Staffybullterrier

    It's very difficult to break addiction to gambling, and to other addictions too.

    There's very little help out there for people struggling, and their families, who also feel the impact.

    What help there is increasingly comes from charities.....


    Put your hands up.
    • lwilliams16
    • By lwilliams16 7th Apr 18, 9:56 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    lwilliams16
    Discretionary trust
    I am a professional Willwriter and I would recommend having a Will with a discretionary trust in. Your son can be a beneficiary so would have use of the assets within the trust but your appointed trustees would have control of the trust in order to look after the money for your son. This way he can benefit but not waste the money. However, you do need specialist advice regarding these trusts as there is more to them that what I have briefly mentioned here. There is also another option to look at called a family protection trust (also known as an asset protection trust).

    I recommend looking on the Institute of Professional Willwriters website. You can input your postcode and it will show you the members that are local to your area. The willwriter should come out to your own home to see you rather than you having to go to an office and they will most likely be cheaper than a solicitor and have more expertise as all we focus on is this area of law. If you would prefer I am happy to provide further information, my company is called Amba Legal Services, and our number is 01299 251442. I am unable to provide a link for the website but we do have quite a nice simple one with more information

    Edit: These trusts are also great if he were to become bankrupt from his gambling addiction. The money in the trust is protected against bankruptcy as it is held in the trusts name rather than owned outright by your son.
    Last edited by lwilliams16; 07-04-2018 at 10:07 PM. Reason: Further advice
    • refinnejks
    • By refinnejks 7th Apr 18, 10:59 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    refinnejks
    Discretionary trust
    Iíve read through all the comments and am pleased to see a discretionary trust recommended. If you donít want family members as trustees then organisations like Mencap Trust Company can hold the discretionary trust and have a board of trustees.
    • JayD
    • By JayD 9th Apr 18, 10:40 AM
    • 502 Posts
    • 322 Thanks
    JayD
    Nowhere near enough info to make a call on this!

    How old are you? Are you in poor health? How old is your son? Is he married? Does he have children? How much money are you likely to be leaving?

    All the above are relevant to any answer of any value that I can give.

    However, I will say this:
    When I was 16, I was always going overdrawn on my bank account just before my pay went in each month. I would then get a letter from the bank, asking if I would like to cover the overdraft with a transfer from my savings account. This confused me, as I didn't have a savings account! So I arranged to see the bank manager to find out about it. My mother then confessed that SHE had opened a small savings account for me in secret, as a safety net should I ever really need a little bit of money in an emergency. This both shocked and touched me - and I didn't go overdrawn ever again. So maybe, if you left the money in your will that you would like to, to your son, with a heartfelt letter about how you want it to help him get through the tough times that he is bound to face in his future, he might have the same epiphany that I did.

    You can't live his life for him - you can only do what causes you the least stress.
    • Norma B
    • By Norma B 9th Apr 18, 6:38 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Norma B
    I find these comments really interesting because I have 2 children one of whom is married and the other still living at home (and looks like he may never leave!!). The married one has stated categorically that she has no intention of having children and the other one never leaves his room! We have given both of them quite substantial sums of money over time which they've never asked for and always been very good with (and we've never harped on about after) but I started panicking that if anything ever happened to our daughter our hard earned cash could end up in the hands of her husband's side of the family (despite all our efforts he doesn't seem to like us very much!). Then I sat back and thought 'so what? we're not going to be around to care and really how arrogant is it to dictate from beyond the grave?
    My daughter and son-in-law both have good jobs and earn good money but my son is on minimum wage so we thought about leaving them different amounts but then decided you don't use your will to even out differences do you? We love them equally and they're all good people so we'll treat them equally. What does wasting an inheritance mean anyway? If they spent every penny on wining, dining and holidays they'd hopefully have wonderful experiences to remember!!
    • keepcalmandstayoutofdebt
    • By keepcalmandstayoutofdebt 11th Apr 18, 12:16 AM
    • 3,187 Posts
    • 1,672 Thanks
    keepcalmandstayoutofdebt
    Easy - you control the assets you give. (although this can come with clauses)

    I've had my own home for nearly 3 years (the proceeds of my childhood home as I couldn't stop my parents selling in advance and them downsizing) I'm well aware what would happen if I go not paying bills. Responsiblilities either make or break someone.

    I see more of my parents now then when I was younger. As soon as they helped me tragedy struck anyway so it isn't always black and white.
    "If you are caught in a rainstorm, once you accept that you'll receive a soaking, the only thing left to do is enjoy the walk"
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