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Rich Man Leaves Older Son $2.8 Million, Younger Son Gets Only $1 — Story of the Day

Manuela Cardiga
Feb 16, 2022
11:40 P.M.
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A rich father puts his two sons to the test before deciding on their inheritance, then leaves his older son $2.8 million and his spendthrift younger son gets $1.

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Being a parent is the hardest job in the world, and you never really know how you've done until your children grow up. Clark Hanson was a successful businessman, but he felt that as a parent, he'd failed miserably.

His oldest son Court was a quiet, sober, hard-working man, but his youngest, Gerald, was a spendthrift, thoughtless, and selfish. Clark often asked himself where he'd gone wrong with Gerald, and what he could do at this late date to make it right.

Gerald's inheritance wasn't what he expected. | Source: Shutterstock.com

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As his first step in his campaign to make Gerald hardworking and responsible, Clark got his 26-year-old son his first job in his company's mailroom. Gerald looked around at the mailroom then stared at his father in astonishment.

"You want me to do WHAT?" he asked.

"You will be separating the mail and delivering it to the people it's been sent to," Clark said. "And you'll be starting at 9:00 on the dot."

Be careful, a second chance may well be your last chance.

Gerald looked confused. "At 9:00? But that's impossible! My personal trainer comes in at 10:00 then I have tennis after lunch..." he commented. "That just won't work for me, dad!"

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Clark raised his two sons the best he could. | Source: Unsplash

"Yes it will," Clark said firmly. "Because you see, I'm the one paying for the personal trainer and the lunches and the tennis pro, and I won't be paying any longer. You'll have a lot of free time from now on."

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Gerald was furious, but Clark wouldn't yield an inch. After a week in the mailroom, Gerald burst into his father's office, pushing past his secretary and not even knocking on the door. 

"I've had enough!" he cried, waving his weekly paycheck. "This whole week I worked like a slave and this is what I've earned?"

Clark calmly took his paycheck and looked at it. "That looks about right!" he said.

At 25, all Gerald wanted to do was party. | Source: Unsplash

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"Why can't I have a job like Court's?" Gerald demanded. "He earns a fortune!"

"Court has a degree in economics, Gerald," Clark said. "What did you major in? Oh! That's right! You dropped out..."

Gerald squirmed. "Well, maybe I haven't been very diligent, dad, but I do have skills!"

Clark asked, "What skills, exactly?"

Clark got Gerald a job at the office mail room. | Source: Pixabay

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"I'm good with people, and I know a lot of celebrities," Gerald said. "I know how to handle the press... Maybe public relations?" 

Clark was thoughtful. "You have a point there, Gerald. There may be something you can do. I've agreed to sponsor a fundraiser for UNICEF," he said. "I want to organize a celebrity auction...In fact, I want YOU to organize a celebrity auction, and how successful you are at it will show me your potential -- or not. But please note, Gerald, this is your last opportunity. Don't fail yourself."

"You mean 'don't fail me,' right?" asked Gerald.

"No, I mean that your future is at stake, so think before you mess up," said Clark and escorted his son out of his office. 

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Gerald was very upset when he saw how much he was earning. | Source: Unsplash

Over the next two months, Clark watched with some interest as Gerald poured his energy into the organization of the fundraiser. Soon the objects donated by celebrities started arriving.

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It looked as if the auction would be a success, and Clark felt a secret relief. Maybe all Gerald really needed was to focus on something he was good at and understood!

Gerald hired a prestigious venue and ordered a luxurious buffet and the very best champagne -- all of which Clark's company would be paying for. He also contracted a famous singer to perform before the auction.

The truth was that the event was packed with the rich and the famous, all vying to acquire the celebrity memorabilia, and the auction was a huge success and raised a lot more money than Clark had expected.

Clark challenged Gerald to organize an event for a children's charity. | Source: Unsplash

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However, the event was hugely expensive, at least $170,000 more than he'd budgeted for. "That's a lot of money..." Clark thought. "I think this merits a closer look."

Clark ordered his secretary to gather all the receipts for the UNICEF event, and it all added up -- but something felt off. He looked at the receipt for the singer's fee which was endorsed to a company called Talent Incorporated.

"Diane," Clark said to his secretary. "Get me in touch with the girl who sang at the auction would you, and ask her how much she charged."

An hour later, Diane walked into Clark's office and she looked very pale. "Mr. Hanson," she said. "She didn't charge us a cent. It was her contribution to the cause..."

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Gerald organized the gala at the most prestigious venue. | Source: Unsplash

Clark felt as if the bottom had been cut out of his world. "She didn't charge anything?" he asked in a whisper.

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"No, sir," said Diane, and she had tears in her eyes. Over the next few days, Clark contacted all the vendors, suppliers, and caterers and discovered that Gerald had demanded 20% of their fees in cash kickbacks. Gerald really had made the most of his second chance!

Clark didn't say a word to Gerald, but when the family got together that Sunday for lunch, he had an announcement to make. After they finished eating, Clark got up with his wine glass in hand.

He looked at his sons and smiled. "Court, Gerald, as you know I'm now sixty-two, and one of these days I will be handing the baton over. But retirement isn't my only worry. When I die, I want my legacy in good hands, and I want to make sure that my money is distributed fairly among my sons."

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Gerald hired a famous singer to perform. | Source: Unsplash

Gerald smiled, but Court looked upset. "Come on, dad, you know I hate that kind of talk!"

"I know, son," Clark said gently. "But I want you and Gerald to know what to expect. Yesterday I had my lawyers draft a new will. Court, you will, of course, receive the shares for the company, but as for the money...I mean my personal fortune, you as the eldest will receive $2.8 million, and you, Gerald, will receive one dollar."

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Gerald frowned. "I'm sorry, dad, what did you say?"

Clark smiled. "I said that your inheritance will amount to exactly one dollar."

Clark discovered that Gerald had embezzled money. | Source: Pexels

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Gerald jumped up. "What is this?" he screamed. "What have you done?"

"Calm down, my dear Gerald," Clark said calmly. "If you will recall, I warned you when you took on the charity event that it was your last chance..."

"I did a great job!" Gerald protested. "We raised millions for the children!"

"Yes you did do a great job," Clark said. "Especially when it came to filling your own pockets. I trusted you, and you stole from me. Consider it your inheritance."

Clark changed his will and left Gerald one dollar. | Source: Unsplash

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No matter how much Gerald cried and protested that he'd change and be a better man, Clark refused to change his mind or his will.

What can we learn from this story? 

  • Be careful, a second chance may well be your last chance. Gerald violated his father's trust and embezzled money and was shocked when his father wouldn't forgive him.
  • Good character is bred in the bone. You may raise a child with love, give them good examples, but at the end of the day, they decide who they want to be.

Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.

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If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a man who uninvited his mother to his wedding after she refused to give him the large sum of money he demanded.

This account is inspired by our reader’s story and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com

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