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Recently, the subject of inheritance has been coming up with clients and in The Nature of Money meetings. When we think about inheritance, it’s usually in the sense of property, money and other possessions.

For the wealthy, inheritance is a hugely complex field involving advisors, trusts and planning to minimise tax. For those with few assets, inheritance may seem utterly irrelevant.

However, there is a sense in which we all inherit something far more powerful and defining in the form of patterns, beliefs, mindset and values, from our parents and previous generations. And this is particularly so about money.

A client who was born into a wealthy family but whose father gave away his inheritance because of guilt, said with some irony: “I inherited his patterns but not the money itself!”

This guilt has had a profoundly inhibiting effect on her life – way beyond anything to do with wealth.

Whether we adopt our inherited patterns or reject them, we are influenced by them either way. Do they serve us, or not? We can’t know unless we become aware of them.

Without such awareness, for example, the badge of poverty can be worn with the same fierce loyalty as the badge of privilege and entitlement.

Consider reflecting on what you’ve inherited. If a certain belief or pattern doesn’t serve you, remember that you can give it away!