Why Are Bequests to Charity So Rare?

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Based on my experience, American societal money scripts around estate planning appear to be: "Good parents leave everything to family," and, "The more money I can leave my kids the better off they will be."

It’s not surprising, then, that estate planning often does not include discussion of how to pass on an inheritance in a manner that doesn’t harm the kids. It's even more rare to consider leaving money philanthropically.

According to Professor Russell James, J.D., Ph.D., CFP® of Texas Tech University, in a January 2014 article, Neuroimaging and Charitable Bequests, only "between 5% and 6% of people 50 and older include charitable giving in their wills." That means 94% to 95% of estates are left to others, usually family.

What might be behind those estate planning motivations and money scripts that focus only on family?