Column: Money, and a grand sense of entitlement
They say money is the root of all evil, and a never has a truer word been spoken. To me, money has always been a means to an end. I believe the more you have, the more you spend, so you always end up back at the same point. Of course, money can make life easier, but it certainly doesn't make you happy.
Take, for example the recent case of Michael Ames. He was a self-man man. An entrepreneur, who made his fortune running a highly-successful glazing firm in London. Michael passed away in 2013, but then a row broke out over his will. Step forward his unemployed daughter Danielle, who claims her dad told her ‘it will all be yours one day’. Danielle is 41 years old, but she argued that she was entitled to £300,000 her father's £1 million estate by accident of birth. That is to say, even though Mr Ames left it all to his partner (and later wife) of 30 years – Elaine - Danielle, who by the sounds of it has never done a hard day's graft in her life, thought she deserved a chunk just because she was his daughter. But Judge David Halpern QC, at Central London County Court, disagreed and ruled against her claim, saying she had chosen unemployment as a way of life. She was not only refused a slice of her father’s fortune, she was also told to go out and get a job. At last, a judge with some common sense!
Danielle argued she'd been close to her father, who'd funded her business in the past. But, she said, her partner's monthly wage of £800 wasn't enough to cover their £2,000 a month outgoings. Well, my heart bleeds for you, love. Just a suggestion, but why don't you cut down on your expenditure and go out and get a job like the rest of us? But it appears her sense of entitlement is far greater than her desire to fund her own lifestyle. Has she wondered, perhaps, that maybe her dad didn't leave her any money because he wanted her to learn the hard way? At 41 years old, you'd think she'd be able to fund her own lifestyle, but it appears not. Personally, I'd have more respect knowing the money sat in my bank account was there through my own sheer hard work. But not everyone thinks the same as me.
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As is always the case, karma appears to have bitten Danielle on the bum because now she's not only liable for her own court costs but for her step-mother's too. To add to the salt in the wound, she's been given 14 days to hand over £34,000 as down-payment on estimated legal bills that could top £130,000. As the other old adage goes…you reap what you sow.