Succession In The Non-Royal Family

Royal and Imperial families with multiple children sometimes have a great deal of difficulty sorting out who gets to control which asset and who gets to participate in which scandal – but in the end there is usually some iron-bound law that will line up the necks upon which the monarch may step.

We in the common herd have very little of this – there are laws that divide up property after the death of the head of the family, but they are chiefly economic provisions for the welfare of the spouse and any dependent children. There is no provision whatsoever that demands public love, respect, or obedience from one descendent to another. Those not willed money or assets don’t have or get to do anything else, social or civil.

The hope of inheritance makes scions more polite, helpful, and respectful – at least until the lid slams shut. The wise ancestor would do well to remember this and to make sure that the kiddies know it. The even wiser ancestor fees a trusted law firm to make sure that no-one opens the purse too early. The wisest of all makes sure that all the cash and property is gone and the only thing left is a mountain of debt.

Which they can distribute in the will – so much to be paid off by this one, so much by that one. It is a twofold legacy; both the descendant and the debtor are distressed. If you can roll both into one and have someone struggling to pay themselves off, you become the stuff of legend.

 

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