“A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children,...” (Proverbs 13:22)
Inheritance refers to the tangible and intangible property or memory of a person or thing, whatever the value, honor, or respect to the children or grandchildren left by the person when he or she passed away.
Most people look at the inheritance as home, land, money, or property that can be measurable in cash, which they think is worthy to leave behind. In Cambodia, parents work hard from a young age until they’re aging to save an inheritance for their children. Some also left huge amount of wealth to their descendants, as other parents also leave debt on their children. Some parents have already set aside the will for their children before their time of death, while some older parents are not prepared to handle it, thinking that thoughts about death will bring bad fortune upon themselves and do not know what possessions they will be able to leave. This is not reasonable. In fact, no one knows for sure what tomorrow will bring, and no one can determine for themselves how long it will last. If there is a serious circumstance at the end of life, the inheritance must be in the vague, unknown until the children can agree peacefully. What if the children don’t get agree in peace? Then, only the facts can be protected until a later time. In many cases, after the death of parents who passed away without leaving a will, in order to manage or divide the property when there is no peaceful agreement between the siblings, contentious conflicts are often created that are difficult to resolve. Lawyers often advise that the division of the inheritance be at the discretion of the parents before death with preparations already made, and through proper legal will, so that even if the parent die would not result in significant problems in managing the property.
Another meaning of inheritance refers to intangible property (legacy), such as knowledge, mindset, character, patterns, and reputation that is left to the children. Some people have little wealth but a wealth of mindset, good manners, were good role models, had a high reputation and social prestige which can be passed down to their children to help them gain admiration and respect. Their efforts to raise children and giving them a good education is an inheritance that is very valuable. Children can continue to emulate the legacy of their parents, becoming a greater generation from what parents left behind for their heritage. Secure relationship is often based on their character. And people’s mindset also is related to their education. A Khmer proverb also says "Words express yourself and character expresses your manners." Because of the education that parents try to build in their children, some parents prefer to spend money on education rather for their personal pleasures. They think that if the children are well-educated, later in life this will bring them wealth. Reputation is a worthy legacy that helps future generations to continue to live in dignity that was learned from their parents, as the Khmer proverb says "Boats leave, Ports stay". Though lost, the children inherit all their noble heritage.
Therefore, whether tangible or intangible, property, can be prosperous or disappear because it requires children to manage it well and responsibly. Obviously, the heirs with tangible property such as the land, or houses, may sell and destroy that property very wastefully through fun and gambling, and soon the inheritance will be gone and destroyed. In the same way, if a child inherits a good quality, reputation, knowledge, mindset, and a good personality, he can only be destroyed by bad actions or bad character, such as laziness, dependency, falsehood, excessive greed, fraud robbery or drug abuse, and so on, that these behavior and attitude will completely destroy the parents' heritage given to their children.
Therefore, all parents who consider themselves to be aged enough to prepare their children for inheritance, should consider it with good judgment and stand by their own decisions. Some parents may pass on their trust to one of their children whom they trust to manage for other siblings, because parents recognize his or her temperament. That child would manage the inheritance undifferentiated from the parent’s will. The Bible blesses that person who lives in “integrity”, deserves and is honored by his parents (Ps. 37:29) to inherit. Such a child is not greedy, does not exploit, is not interested in gambling, is strong, who but manages his/her parents’ property well and kind to distributes it to his or her own siblings fairly and kindly (parents always recognize their child's character since they are in children).
In the other cases, intangible property that parent passes down to their children as mentioned above, also very striving that parents have to provide for their children. Even though they cannot be seen and held, such a legacy is priceless, and no letter or lawyer is ever needed, just between parents and the children. Children who inherit it bring peace and happiness to life on earth. It will also help them create wealth with integrity, and no matter what challenges in life, they will remain strong.