Six Things Boomers Need to Do Before Transferring Wealth
By Richard Schooley
We spend much of our adult lives creating our family’s financial health and well-being. Providing for our kids and their education. Simultaneously, securing our retirement. Then somehow suddenly, what was a far-off point on the horizon becomes close enough to actively consider: How do we transfer our wealth to our kids and future generations?
There is no one way to do this, but here are six steps that have proven to be valuable to others:
- Learn about GenX and Millenials.
Beyond knowing your kids and loving them for who they are, it is very smart to do some research and reading on these two generations. Why? Just like you, they are subject to the influences of their generation. While your kids are individuals, they are also digital natives, they’ve experienced the Great Recession, a prolonged bull market, and now a pandemic. Those events hit at pivotal times in their lives and the lives of their peers, shaping their views about money.
- Invite your adult children into family wealth management.
This may seem sacrosanct and for your eyes only, but family wealth doesn’t have to be a black box. Consider how effective it could be to introduce your kids to the people you trust with your wealth and to actively engage them in wealth management? How? Gradually, at first, by including them in some decision making. Over time, you might also allow them some responsibility for the family wealth while you can oversee it. The net result of this activity can be that your legacy is not only about the gift or property and assets, but about how you think about family financial health and well-being.
- Talk about the basics of wealth.
Easing your children into family wealth management provides opportunities for meaningful conversations. Do they know the basics of saving and investing? Do they know the importance of creating a budget and living within it. Or using credit wisely? These can be tricky subjects for parents and adult children, but with a trusted financial advisor or tax advisor with you on occasion, it gets easier to talk about something that is often taboo in families.
- Explore your values and philosophies.
When they were young, you taught your kids about values. You’ve lived your values throughout your whole life. As adults, though, it may have been a while since you talked about your shared values. And it may be that you have never really talked about your values regarding money and wealth. For instance, what role did sacrifice play as you were securing your family’s financial well-being? What financial challenges did you face and what did you learn? What of patience and planning?
- Discuss the impact you can have on others through philanthropy.
Family philanthropy can be something to engage your adult children in — whether you have a family foundation, lean toward impact investing, or give to organizations and causes most dear to you. It can be quite meaningful to hold a discussion about where to make an impact in the world and then do it together.
- Set up a family trust.
As part of your estate plan, a family trust will direct the distribution of assets according to your wishes. It’s a valuable instrument that can prevent conflicts from arising among beneficiaries, execute tax strategies, avoid court costs, direct philanthropic giving, settle insurance, and set in motion business succession among other such needs. Your family trust will hold the assets for your beneficiaries and can control distribution of assets during your lifetime or afterward. As well, different types of trusts can provide significant tax benefits. Consulting with a professional Financial Advisor and Trust Attorney, like those affiliated with Potentia, will help you find the solution that best fits your needs.
Family Legacy Workshop
The pandemic has been unexpectedly good for our investment portfolios, but it has also reminded us of the importance of family and the value of time. Not to mention, the unpredictability of life. This year, with our focus on the big issues surrounding family financial health and well-being, Potentia will offer parents and their adult children a unique opportunity to come together and shape the future. Join us for a private Family Legacy workshop. For more information or to schedule an appointment, click here.
Join us for a private Family Legacy workshop.