Brie P. Williams, Head of Practice Management
A purposeful approach for maintaining and growing wealth brings together two of the most emotional subjects in the world: family and money. It’s no wonder only 4% of families regularly hold meetings to discuss wealth matters.1
How families will discuss and implement the strategies that are right for them will vary greatly; intergenerational wealth-planning roadmaps are highly personal. The combination of transferring wealth to the younger generation and teaching issues of money management can raise numerous questions.
By asking the right questions and listening carefully, financial advisors can help families engage in strategic planning and begin to create long-term objectives to their wealth. When family members understand the role of wealth in their lives and discuss money matters openly, they are in a better position to map out and achieve their vision.
Money alone does not create ties that bind
Talking about money can be difficult. The way individuals and families perceive their wealth has profound impact on how money is valued and used. Yet, for many families, money remains a taboo topic. However, without communication, misunderstandings can easily occur.
Proactively engaging spouses, children and grandchildren in conversations about key family wealth issues and involving them in the process of wealth management are fundamental components of protecting the long-term financial health of a family. An advisor’s experience and leadership can help establish a plan, integrate education on the topics of wealth transition and prepare heirs to receive and prudently manage assets.
Shared values: A purposeful approach
Encourage clients to think about the long-term goals they have for themselves and their family. When a family works together as a team, they are better positioned for success. Opening up a dialogue about financial and social responsibility is a crucial first step.
Financial maturity: Where is everyone at?
Start early, begin with topics that are general, and ask to bring family members into the discussion to foster inclusion; help the family build a foundation of wealth stewardship. An incremental approach allows for time to process options and improves outcomes.
Money dates: Setting aside time to talk
Use checklists and introduce shorter-term goals with targeted completion dates to help clients feel organized and in-the-know at the same time. Thoughtful communication can help widen frames of perception, which can lead to new and collaborative alternatives.
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