Love and Money in Wealthy Families … Often a Big Tangle

Here is a second excerpt from Wealth Counseling: A Guide for Therapists and Inheritors Dennis Pearne, Trio Press/Inheritance Project, 1999

“Love is frequently confused with money in wealthy families. Parents who are away a lot may try to make up for their absences with gifts. They may also use money, instead of love and approval, to attempt to influence behavior and shape a child’s development. One inheritor said that in her family, money was ‘affection and weapons.’ The mingling of money and love often persists well beyond childhood and youth. Young heirs sometimes hear dire threats, such as, ‘You won’t get your inheritance if you marry that man (or woman).’ A much more common warning, “Are they just after your money?’ though less dire, may actually do more damage because it leads heirs to believe that they are not inherently lovable.”