Perspectives on intergenerational bequests

inheritance arrangements and family resources

Jeanette A. Lawrence, Jacqueline J. Goodnow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper analyses two opposing perspectives on older adults' arrangements for making inheritance bequests to their families. It consider proposals that elders should be seen predominantly as "'Hedonistic Self-Server Skiers" who spend on themselves resources that could be given to younger generations, or as "Sensible Squirrels" who save for their old age and have resources to pass on to younger generations. The paper considers five lines of argument in support of each perspective, and makes reservations based on the available evidence. It is argued that neither perspective covers the phenomena. Instead, it is proposed that inheritance arrangements are varied in the wealth available for transfer, in the forms of bequests made, and in the motivations of bequesters. On the basis of the evidence, the authors propose further lines of research focused on how bequests strike a balance between the competing demands of contemporary life, including inheritance arrangements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-14
Number of pages10
JournalFamily Matters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Perspectives on intergenerational bequests: inheritance arrangements and family resources'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this