Insights + Resources

Heirs, Value and Family Wealth

Jun 10, 2019

A family at the Beach
Teaching your Heirs to Value Your Wealth

Some millionaires are reluctant to talk to their kids about family wealth. Perhaps they are afraid of what their heirs may do with it.

If a child comes from money and grows up knowing they can expect a sizable inheritance, that child may look at family wealth like water from a free-flowing spigot with no drought in sight. Your child may rely upon your wealth if nothing works out; or simply to whims born of boredom. The perception that family wealth is a fallback rather than a responsibility can contribute to the erosion of family assets. Factor in a parental reluctance to say “no” often enough, throw in a penchant for racking up debt, and the stage is set for wealth to dissipate.

How might a family plan to prevent this? It starts with values. From those values; you can begin to define goals and purpose.

Create a Family Mission Statement.

To truly share in the commitment to sustaining family wealth, you and your heirs can create a family mission statement, preferably with the input or guidance of a trusted financial advisor professional or estate planning attorney. To introduce the idea of a mission statement to the next generation may seem pretentious, but it is actually a good way to encourage heirs to think about the value of the wealth their family has amassed, and their role in its destiny.

This mission statement can be as brief or as extensive as you wish. It should articulate certain common viewpoints. What values matter most to your family? What is the purpose of your family’s wealth? How do you and your heirs envision the next decade or the next generation of the family business? What would you and your heirs like to accomplish, either together or individually? How do you want others to remember you? These questions (and others) may seem philosophical rather than financial. However, they can actually drive the decisions made to sustain and enhance family wealth.

Distribute Inherited Wealth in Phases.

A trust provides a great mechanism to accomplish this. A certain percentage of trust principal can be conveyed at age X and then the rest of it Y years later. It would be wise to involve a legal professional to carefully state your requirements within your trust.

By involving your kids in the discussion of where the family wealth will go when you are gone, you encourage their intellectual and emotional investment in its future. Pair values, defined goals, and clear purpose with financial literacy and input from a financial or legal professional, and you will take a confident step toward making family wealth last longer.

Tags: ,

More Insights

Jan 22, 2021

What is a 1099 form? This is a record of payment from an individual or entity, showing a payment, generated for your records. The individual/entity sends a copy to both the payee as well as the I.R.S.1 Who might be sending 1099s? Clients send their contractors 1099s, recording work performed. Banks send 1099s to reflect … Continue reading “1099 Form Help”

Jan 20, 2021

When you think about your estate, you may think about your personal property, real estate, or investments. You also have other, less-tangible assets – and they deserve your attention as well. We consider these your digital assets. A digital footprint of your life – and you need to consider them within your estate planning.

Jan 18, 2021

Pursuing your retirement dreams is challenging enough without making some common, and very avoidable, mistakes. Here are eight big mistakes to steer clear of, if possible. No Strategy. Yes, the biggest mistake is having no strategy at all. Without a strategy, you may have no goals, leaving you no way of knowing how you’ll get … Continue reading “Eight Retirement Mistakes to Avoid”

Jan 15, 2021

When you lose a spouse, partner, or parent, the grief can be overwhelming. In the midst of that grief, life goes on. There are arrangements to be made, things to be taken care of – and in recognition of this reality, here is a checklist that you may find useful at such a time. If … Continue reading “Estate Planning Checklist for When a Spouse or Parent Passes”

Jan 11, 2021

The first week of 2021 has already had many ups and downs. Just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean that the 2020 issues go away, and so far, 2021 has been no exception to this rule. The markets opened on January 4 and traded lower out of the gate, with the S&P 500 dropping … Continue reading “2021 Opens With a Bang”

Insights + Resources >