Inheritance norms for distributions of money, land, and things in families

Jacqueline J. Goodnow, Jeanette A. Lawrence

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Inheritance events provide a window onto family relationships, especially across generations. This review brings together analyses of the expected distribution of money, land, and personal possessions, outlining for each the choices faced, the competing norms that come into play, and the concerns that may tip the balance between these. Brought out are points of difference in what is thought should happen with money, land, and things, together with common themes (e.g., concerns with continuity and with not treating family transfers as if they were market exchanges). Brought out also are several directions for further research and for conceptual links to analyses of close relationships.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)73-82
    Number of pages10
    JournalFamily Science
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


    • Distribution norms
    • Inheritance arrangements
    • Land
    • Money
    • Personal possessions


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