I have 4 townhouses but never promise my child an inheritance

June 8, 2024 | 03:16 pm PT
I have 4 townhouses but never promise my child an inheritance
Townhouses, apartments and land in Thu Duc City, July 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
My wife and I have four townhouses, but we will only leave them to our child if he is dutiful; otherwise, we will sell them to enjoy our old age.

I have never promised my only child that I would give him an inheritance. I always say that we built our lives from scratch and that we are not extremely wealthy. I told him that he must always strive to succeed on his own as we will only provide for him up until he finishes university.

The houses and money are for us to live comfortably in our old age when we can no longer work. If our child is filial later on, we will pass them down to him in our will. If not, we will sell everything to hire caregivers or move into a nursing home.

The story above was shared by reader nguyenxuannam21 in response to recent debates about how inheritances should be handled and whether parents should provide financial assistance to children when they buy their first home.

It was met with skepticism from other readers, with Doi goi ten Anh questioning the above reader:

"When you grew up, did you live independently? Or did you receive any assets from your parents? I often see many people inheriting houses and land from parents and using them as a foundation to become wealthy, only to later lecture their children on being self-reliant.

If you truly earn wealth on your own, then you can do whatever you want with it. However, if some of your townhouses or assets were passed down from your parents or grandparents, your children and grandchildren should receive them as well, just like you did.

A case I have encountered was like this. A couple lived in a house left by their parents and had several rental properties but kept this from their child. When their child got married and wanted to move in with them, they refused and told the child to be self-reliant and find his own place.

I believe that in that case, since the house was left by the grandparents, the grandchildren have the right to live there. If you do not like having them there, you should be the one to move out. You have occupied the property for decades and benefited a lot from it. That property was not something you earned, so why do you think you get to keep it for yourself?

Taking and giving is just the natural order of things. In short, do not always assume that you are right. Whatever belongs to the child should be given to them."

To which nguyenxuannam21 rebuked:

"I have never received any assets from my parents. I grew up in a poor rural area and later joined the army a few years after finishing junior high school, I later came to HCMC to work and continue my education.

I am proud because I am self-reliant and even helped my parents back in the countryside to repair their house and buy furnishings. My parents and siblings witnessed my progress, and many neighbors, including my wife, saw it too.

Many of my friends who moved to HCMC on their own also became successful and wealthy."

So what is your viewpoint on this matter? Should children be entitled to family assets that were passed down through generations?

*These comments were translated into English by AI. Readers’ views are personal and do not necessarily match VnExpress’ viewpoints.

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