During a recent estate planning meeting with a business owner client, we spent most of our time reviewing the complex estate and tax planning techniques we had implemented. Over the past two years, we worked hard to make sure their family’s wealth would eventually benefit their children, grandchildren, future generations and favorite charities. As I completed the technical portion of the review, we shifted the conversation to what is an important part of the planning process that most people don’t consider.
Most clients I work with want to know how they can help their beneficiaries respect money and use it for good and ask how to protect future generations from being harmed by the wealth they will receive. Families ask how they can pass their experiences, knowledge and core beliefs to future generations and selected charities in a way that creates a lasting legacy. To accomplish that goal, there needs to be processes in place to help clients and their ultimate beneficiaries better understand each other. With the complexities that families come with, this is a challenge but exciting when it works.
One tool we recently added to client processes was created by Dan Gediman, Founder and Executive Director of This I Believe (TIB), an organization that “collects and shares core personal philosophies of people from all walks of life”. As is best said on their web site “By asking individuals to write and share their personal philosophies, This I Believe hopes to encourage people to express the core principles that guide their daily lives, and to develop acceptance of—and even respect for—beliefs different from one’s own”.
We use many of the TIB tools to help bridge the knowledge and understanding gap between the family members that accumulated wealth and those that are to inherit it. Would understanding what your children and grand children believe help you when deciding how and when you want to transfer your business, real estate, or other assets to them? Would understanding your core beliefs and hearing your stories of the struggles you went through to build your wealth give your beneficiaries more respect for that wealth? My 28 years of experience managing wealth for clients tells me the answer to both questions is a resounding yes.
As a passionate fisherman, I loved reading the TIB essay The Power of Fishing submitted by Johnnie Barmore. As you listen to Johnnie read her essay, think how great it would be to know that personal information about your family when planning your estate. When I listen to the essay, I want to go fishing
Write and share your This I Believe essay and encourage your family to do the same because understanding each others core principals will help families successfully transfer wealth. Sharing your core beliefs will help your heirs catch the personal, professional, financial or other trophy fish they are after. More importantly, they will have control over how they catch it, choosing the rivers and streams or oceans they fish in.
Tim Scannell, CPA, CFPTM provides Personal and Business Tax Planning, Estate Planning, Investment Management, and Generational Wealth management to his clients. “We strive to deliver transparent, proactive, independent, and comprehensive planning and communications to the families we work for”.
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.
HighTower Advisors LLC, its affiliates and HighTower Advisor’s Financial Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice. You need to consult your legal and tax professional when making any investment.