Back in 2006, Hong Kong action star Jackie Chan revealed publicly that he planned to leave half of his estate to charity. But since then Mr. Chan has apparently had a big change of heart, because recently at an awards ceremony held in Beijing where his son, singer Jaycee Chan, was being honored, the actor revealed that he now plans to leave his entire estate to charity. Mr. Chan stated, "If he (Jaycee) is capable, he can make his own money. If he is not, then he will just be wasting my money."
While these may appear to be harsh words to some, I've always viewed an inheritance as a privilege, not a right, and I've had to counsel many clients on this very issue and help them come to terms with this when making their estate planning decisions. And regardless of whether you think Mr. Chan's philosophy is right or wrong, there is one thing I can say for sure because I've witnessed it time and time again: Money does change everything - people and their work ethic and their relationships with others - and usually in a bad way, not a good one. So keep this in mind when you're trying to decide who should get what after you die.