When wealth transfer fails from one generation to the next, a leading cause is a lack of communication.
Most people do not want to plan for their legacy. In fact, 60% of adults do not have a will or living trust. Even among families with large estates, many adults do not talk about their finances with their children. A U.S. Trust survey of wealthy individuals found that more than half do not talk about their assets with family. While the majority believe establishing a formal set of principles to guide their legacy is important, only 10% have actually done it.
With trillions of dollars expected to move to the next generation in the coming years, estate planning is an important part of a comprehensive financial plan.
Discussing plans with spouses and other family members is key to a successful transfer of wealth. Chris Hennessey offers ideas for beginning this important dialogue.
- Host a family meeting to talk about family values and philanthropy
- Draft a letter to your spouse with a detailed list of contacts to call and key document information in the event of an emergency or end-of-life event.