www.bbc.com caught my eye, as it is talking about ways in which inheritance may be equalized among people in general. The idea is to make sure that everyone gets some amount of inheritance even if they come from families in which their own parents don't have anything to leave them. This would be a huge shift away from our centuries-old tradition of parents handing down their life savings only to their own children (or others whom they choose to benefit).
The article, which you can see by clicking here, talks to various people who have put forward three ideas for achieving equality of inheritance (which is referred to as "fairness"). The third idea, which is to tax "old money" differently than what is apparently regular money, would seem more applicable to England than to us here in Canada. The second idea, which has to do with equalizing the genetic inheritance before the financial inheritance, I found too strange to consider an actual proposal for change. The first idea is one that people will understand but, in my opinion, will not welcome: it involves taxation on inheritances so that they can be shared.
I'm not completely sold on the underlying premise of the article, that being that inheritances should be made more "fair". It seems to me that where parents have invested in an education or have taken the risk to start up businesses, have worked hard, made financial sacrifices, and saved diligently, they should be able to choose to whom they leave their money. Sharing out inheritance by way of taxation seems to punish those who work and save. Receiving an inheritance is not a societal right at present. Or am I simply being resistant to change?
How would you feel about a federal tax on inheritance for the purpose of providing an inheritance to people who currently will not receive one?