Like many Americans this weekend, I sat down with friends to watch a few NFL playoff games. Although my favorite Chicago Bears fell short of making the playoffs this year, I still needed to get my football fix and collect the many stories of amazing catches and comebacks that will be shared this week at lunches, around the office and in client meetings.
As I watched Andrew Luck’s Colts battle Tom Brady’s Patriots, I marveled at how these incredible quarterbacks manage and lead successful teams to victory. I see similar qualities in the great business owners I work with who visualize, plan, and lead great companies to success. Brady and Luck have much in common with many of my clients who successfully combat adversity and overcome challenges to create and manage their family wealth based on their unique family goals. I see myself on the sidelines and in the huddle with my clients, proactively offering independent advice and solutions to advance their family goals and protect them from taxes, market risks, and storms on the horizon.
These two quarterbacks, like the family leaders I work with, get the limelight as they should. My thoughts during the game, though, were mostly with the Colts and Patriots’ receivers playing on the field. What if Andrew Luck and the Colts’ coaches didn’t tell the receivers what plays they were calling? Would they know where to go to catch the pass? If Tom Brady called an audible as a result of an impending rush, but didn’t tell the receivers why and where to go, would the play work? It seems absurd to think that any team has a chance of success without training their receivers to know the play, run a route, catch a pass, and identify a defensive scheme, yet this is how most families prepare to transfer their wealth.
Advisors often create strong teams of CPA’s, attorneys, bankers, insurance professionals, investment managers and other advisers to prepare great plans for the smooth and efficient transfer of assets to beneficiaries. Yet many allocate very little time and resources to make sure that the ultimate beneficiaries know the plan, are ready to receive wealth and are in the best position for success as they receive it. ”Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations” is how Americans describe the high failure rate of wealth transfers, and the biggest cause of that failure is a lack of preparing heirs to receive the wealth.
Working with the Institute for Preparing Heirs, we help our clients start the conversations among family members, and we give clients the tools needed to prepare heirs to receive and manage wealth in a manner that fosters their development and lifetime goals. Family meetings are tools that can promote communication and trust among family members and can be used to teach financial responsibility to heirs. Contact me for a sample “Family Meeting” agenda.
To catch the personal, professional, financial or other trophy fish you want for your family, make sure your heirs are prepared to receive your family wealth. Doing so will give your family more control over the river and streams or oceans you fish in.
Tim Scannell, CPA, CFP TM provides Personal and Business Tax Planning, Estate Planning, Investment Management, and Generational Wealth management to his clients. “We deliver proactive, objective advice, plans and solutions enabling our clients to reach their unique family goals “.
Scannell Wealth Management is a team of investment professionals registered with HighTower Securities, LLC, member FINRA, MSRB and SIPC & HighTower Advisors, LLC a registered investment advisor with the SEC. All securities are offered through HighTower Securities, LLC and advisory services are offered through HighTower Advisors, LLC.