Our aim is to study altruistically motivated inter-vivos transfers and their relation to the level of income. The concept of altruism we use is different from that typically used in economic research. Under our definition, individuals feel altruistically not only towards their descendants, but also towards other individuals genetically related to them. However, they only worry about them when their relatives? consumptions falls below a certain level. We conclude that, within this framework, the number and amount of inter-vivos transfers is greater in poor than in rich countries, and greater among low-income families than among high-income families.