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Who will inherit your property?

Your Family Matters with PASTOR CHANDA
FRIDAY, August 26, 2016: Twice this week, aging parents have asked me the question, “Who should we leave our property and wealth with?” In both cases my answer has been that they should leave their inheritance with their children. In both cases the situation was tricky.
In the first case, the man asking had two daughters and a son. They were all very well educated and set to perhaps have more wealth than their parents will leave behind. So, the parents felt that they had given their children what they needed. Why give them more?
As I asked them further, I began to realise that the parents wanted to leave their wealth with those who needed money the most. One obvious example was to leave their wealth with orphanages, which would then use the money to look after and educate orphans.
In the second case, the woman asking had two sons and two daughters. All but one of them were out of the home and financially independent. The one still at home was severely handicapped and so was going to need to be looked after for the rest of his life.
The parents wanted to leave their wealth and property with someone who would continue to look after their handicapped son after they died. As they looked at their other surviving children they could not yet see who would take on such a huge responsibility.
In both cases, my advice was the same. The default answer to the question, “Who will inherit my property?” should inevitably be, “Your children.” That was how God intended his world to be developed. It was to be through the family, from generation to generation.
In Genesis 1:28, God said to Adam and Eve, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it.” Notice that the road to subduing the earth included having children and those children also having children until the whole earth is filled many generations later.
This obviously means that each generation must pass on to the next generation what they have achieved so that the next generation builds on that foundation. If each generation has to keep starting all over again then you cannot grow family wealth into an empire.
A good example of this is John Laing, the man in whose name an entire compound in Lusaka, Zambia, is named. John Laing was in the construction business in Britain and came down to Northern Rhodesia. The John Laing compound was where his labourers used to live.
John Laing was born in 1879 and died in 1978. He was almost 100 years when he died. His great grandfather, David Laing, was in the construction business. He moved his business from Scotland to England. He later passed on this business to his son, James.
James built this construction business and passed it on to his son, John (the father of John Laing), who took the business to an even higher level. By the time John Laing was born the business had reached great heights and in his childhood days had even began to go down.
John Laing took over the business and moved it to the capital city of London in 1920. He poured in his great abilities and it soon became well known all over Britain. They even won the tender to build the magnificent Coventry Cathedral in England in the 1950s.
When John Laing retired, he handed over this business to his sons, William Kirby Laing and John Maurice Laing. These are now quite old and they have since enlisted John Laing’s grandson, Martin Laing, to help run the business. That is six generations in total.
That is how it should be! However, that can only happen if those of us who are parents learn to pass on our values to our children. Not all of them will adopt our values but those who do will be the best to inherit our wealth and property—and even our business!
So, the man who had educated his children could leave his wealth with them so that they continue to give help to the poor. Also, the woman with the handicapped child could leave both the wealth and the child to her children knowing they would continue her legacy.
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