Don’t Be An Heir Head
August 25, 2014
I don't know if anyone under the age of 40 reads this column because it's over 12 words in length and I actually spell out words instead of using texting shortcuts. If, in the small chance any younger persons are reading this, I have 10 little words for you that could make you millions of dollars without working. Now do I have your attention?
Within the next 20 years the greatest generational transfer of wealth in human history will take place and while the memory banks of senior citizens today might be empty, their bank accounts are not. Some heirs will hit the genetic jackpot while others who are bad at good luck, or good at bad luck, will miss out on their fair share of the loot simply because they did not heed my 10 words of wisdom on how to become wealthy. So don't just stand there staring at your phone, if you want your rich grandpa to skip your parents and give the cash to you instead, read on!
Greeting Cards- I know we live in the internet age and snail mail is dead but the elderly grew up with Hallmark and American Greetings. Cards are always appreciated and if an elderly relative gives you a gift, no matter how insignificant, they expect a "Thank You" note. (I had one cousin who was left out of my aunt's will because she failed to send a thank-you note for a re-gifted, year-old calendar.) If you want your old maid aunt to leave you her CD collection, and I'm not talking about the CDs with music on them, send her an annual birthday card that costs at least four bucks, because they always look at the price on the back to see exactly how much you love them.
Chocolate- To butter up a rich parent or grandparent you need to give them little gifts throughout the year. But what do you get an infirm oldster who would just try to buy gas with an iTunes gift card and thinks Victoria's Secret is a novel? A box of Depends®? Or cigarettes, liquor, porn, prune juice and a tube of Preparation H? I think not. That's a good way to get left out entirely. I've always had good luck with Hershey chocolate bars but make sure you give the kind without nuts; this is important for senior citizens who may already be chomping on their third set of teeth.
Visitation- Sadly, many of our old people are now living in heaven's waiting room, a rest home or convalescent hospital, where they wait until it's time for "The Long Nap". If you really want to score points with a billionaire relative, just visit them. They like these visits for two reasons: one, they are lonely. And two, the inmates keep track of how many visits each resident gets and the more they get the higher they are in the social order at the rest home. Now this is important: know their daily schedule as there is nothing worse than visiting during their nap or feeding time, which can take up to 18 of every 24 hours. If you really want to get in good, couple your visitation with gifts. What they'd really like is a big birthday cake with a file and a hacksaw inside so they can break out of the joint.
Show Respect- The proper respect goes a long way with old folks. So turn that cap around, leave your tongue stud, nose rings and lip jewelry at home and cover your tattoos as best you can. And speak English! And remember, they don't want advice from worldly teenagers. Just listen to their stories and someday you'll be glad you did. Whatever you do, don't honk or flip off someone when the light turns green but their brains and car don't immediately engage. It could turn out to be your zillionaire uncle!
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Have Lots of Grandkids- For you Baby Boomers looking to cash in I have one word for you: grandkids! It's a fact of life that grandparents automatically love their grandchildren, even if the grandchild's parents were losers and drove their parents to drink. Inheritance is a lot like the lottery and grandkids are like lotto tickets: the more you have the greater the odds you'll win the big prize. Don't overexpose the grandkids though because they might act up, be bratty or rude. If they do, just tell the loaded relative that they are your brother's or sister's kids.