Gifts to Adult Children, While the Parents Are Still Alive – New York Times


Paul B. Brown and his son Samuel Viscomi in Glen Rock, N.J. Mr. Brown and his wife have started giving some of their money to their four adult children.

Alex wroblewski for The New York Times

To the Editor:

In the June 10 Wealth Matters column, Paul B. Brown discusses why he and his wife have chosen to dispense some of their hard-earned wealth to their four children while he and his wife are still alive. My husband and I understand their decision.

First, Mr. Brown says that because he and his wife are “hopelessly middle class, there isn’t anything outlandishly expensive that we want to spend” their money on. My husband and I were also raised to believe in hard work, honesty and thriftiness; we are genetically indisposed to self-indulgence.

Second, the Browns feel that their children can use the money now, and we feel the same. Our son has undertaken an inspiring career in cinematography — his passion — juggling the demanding schedules of several part-time jobs and freelancing. There’s no question that he could use a bit of support now.

Our daughter struggles with a congenital heart defect. Unable to pursue a full-time career in wildlife and physical anthropology — her passion — she is in constant dread of losing her health insurance.

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