By Kevin Reardon CFP®
Have you ever wondered what will happen to your family when you are gone? Will your family continue to thrive through the second or third generation?
Generational Wealth Planning (GWP) entails planning that goes beyond ourselves, with the intention of positively influencing our next generations. This influence involves more than just money. It addresses the process of aging and death. It also includes passing on family stories and values. Having discussions about the present and the future is part of this process.
Generational planning is not just for the Rockefellers or other uber-wealth families, it is for all of us! GWP strives to answer key questions that every family will face. Important questions that you should consider as you think of your own family:
- How do you best ensure your values live on in your children and grandchildren, both while you are alive and when you are gone?
- Do your children know about your family tree, and the successes and failures of those who came before them?
- Do your children know anything about your estate plan?
- Do your children know who your Powers of Attorney (POA) are?
- Have you had discussions with your POAs regarding your end-of-life preferences?
- Do your children know anything about your finances, such as an approximate net-worth, where your assets are held, who your advisor is, who does your taxes, where your estate documents are located, and who to call first upon your death?
- How will your children handle your money if they inherit it? How will your children handle it if you have decided to give to causes that do not include them?
- What crucial conversations should you have with your children regarding their finances? Regarding other aspects of life?
- If your adult child or their spouse were to pass away prematurely, do they have proper life insurance to sustain their family (including your grandchildren)?
- Do your adult children have Wills and POAs?
- Have you identified how your personal belongings will be distributed upon your death?
- Have you shared a family medical history with your children? If not, why not?
- If you had three wishes for your family, what would they be? Have you shared those wishes with your family?
GWP does not start at the time of your death. It starts today, with a conversation with your family. Begin your GWP process by scheduling a family meeting to discuss these topics, as well as anything else that is important to you. To help guide you in the process, consider reading Willing Wisdom by Thomas Deans, or other books pertaining to generational planning.
Shakespeare has guided many families through the GWP process, and it is something we enjoy doing. Give us a call if you would like to learn more.