Asking a parent for money to start a business is always a complicated conversation ... asking for an early inheritance can add to those complications.
If your parents are retiring or already retired, then likely they will need their own retirement savings to maintain their lifestyle. On the other hand, as an entrepreneur you might be on the verge of rolling out the next big thing in the marketplace. Should you ask your folks for an early inheritance?
The Wall Street Journal considered this matter in an article titled "Cash-Strapped Entrepreneurs Seek Early Inheritances," with ideas for parents and their entrepreneurial heirs alike.
In an economy starting to show some signs of life, many business plans that have been mothballed are being reconsidered. As an heir, is it ok to want your inheritance now? As a parent, is it ok to give it up early? Well, yes to both.
All parties concerned must be mindful of tax issues, as well as future financial needs that include planning for retirement, old age, health issues and even the rest of the estate.
The original article explores the emotional aspects of this issue, too. Indeed, it can be difficult to ask for an early inheritance and, conversely, it can be difficult being asked for an early inheritance.
Regardless, whether you are asking or being asked, you will need competent legal, accounting and financial counsel to guide you. You do not want the potentially competing dreams of business success and a secure retirement to turn into nightmares for all concerned.