Jayne Dawson: So would you leave all your wealth to your children?

Brooklyn Beckham.
Brooklyn Beckham.
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Okay, I’m putting my hands up and saying, right out, that this isn’t going to be top of your worry list today.

And probably not bottom of your list either. In fact, it’s just not going to feature, I know it.

But I’m slapping it on the table because I know at some point life, even if just for a fleeting second, you are going to ask yourself this.

Here goes. If you were really, really rich, would you leave all your money to your kids?

There. That’s it. That’s all it is. I ask because there is a story doing the rounds right now that Brooklyn Beckham, eldest son of the gorgeous wonder that is David Beckham and some woman, I forget her name, has taken a Saturday job working in a coffee shop for a let’s say modest sum of £2.68 an hour, but he’s only 15, so that’s not so bad. Anyway, there he is, wiping tables and taking orders for flat whites and the rest.

When I read this I wasn’t sure what to make of it. I mean, one perfectly rational thought is that he should vacate that job immediately and make way for a teenager who actually needs to earn some money, because Brooklyn sure as heck doesn’t.

But then again it could be a good thing that he is being given a chance to live a normal life. I mean, he’s never going to experience the real deal because serving coffee and then going home to a mansion and a life of unimaginable luxury is not like getting the bus to your parents’ terrace house, but it’s something.

Because the children of the rich and famous are a form of modern royalty, there is no doubt, and it doesn’t always work out well for them as the death of Peaches Geldof showed. So quite possibly giving them the tiniest taste of averageness could make them not only nicer but more useful human beings.

David and that woman whose name I forget seem to think this way, saying that being hard-working is the best example you can give your children. Now I don’t know how much they have actually walked that walk – I mean it’s not that hard to play football and wear fashionable clothes – but it’s a decent sentiment.

Some rich people take it further. Bill Gates, the richest man in the world, says he isn’t leaving it to the kids and so does Warren Buffet , the second richest man in the world, and the one who reaches into his back pocket to buy global companies with actual cash.

Nearer home is Yorkshire multi-millionaire Paul Sykes, the man who funds political party Ukip. He too is reported as saying says he is not leaving his dosh to his children.

And we know nothing much of the Gates, Buffet and Sykes children, their lives are not played out in gossip columns or on social media. On the other hand we know plenty about the daughters of, say, Bernie Ecclestone, the man who has made a giant fortune heading Formula One racing.

Tamara and Petra Ecclestone are a staple of magazines and websites for doing nothing except living their immensely wealthy lives.

It all looks a bit pointless but who wouldn’t enjoy having limitless amounts of cash? Their father has made it, and now he is indulging his children, which parents are pretty much biologically programmed to do.

So what would you do? Okay, I’ll go first.

I would hand over every last pound, every last penny to my offspring. If I had two billion pounds then they would get one billion pounds each. I would, I just know I would. That is the way nature has programmed me. (Sorry, kids, this is just a fantasy scenario, there is no hidden money.)

At the same time, I would have gone the Beckham route and brought the kids up properly. And if was all too much for them, they could always give it away and live like common people, as Jarvis Cocker once said.

If you had millions in the bank would you leave it to your children? If not, why? Click here to register and have your say on the stories and issues that matter to you

Alexandra Shulman. PIC: PA

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