The Key to Preparing the Next Generation: Communication
Many families strive to sustain wealth across generations. However, the majority of families fail to transfer wealth beyond the first generation. Research shows 60% of failures are caused by a breakdown of communication and trust within the family unit, and 25% of failures are caused by inadequately prepared heirs. U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth found that 51 percent of wealthy parents have not documented instructions about the distribution of personal possessions among heirs, and studies show wealth dissipates in inheriting generations that fail to plan accordingly. At Pathstone, we deliver on our multigenerational promise to help clients and their heirs navigate these hurdles by assisting in coordinating and facilitating family meetings. Each member of the family plays an integral role in the preservation of their legacy. A key part of maintaining generational longevity is having honest and open communication.
Guide to a Successful Family Meeting
An avenue for creating a family meeting is to introduce your spouse or children during your next Portfolio Review with your family wealth advisor or start an informal conversation at the dinner table. We encourage you to structure meetings best suited for your family dynamics, as we understand formal meetings might not be most effective for all families. Consider what you want to accomplish, and who you want to invite to the conversation. Formal family meetings tend to foster organized and collaborative conversations, which helps remove emotion or potential conflict. Having an agenda allows all members to speak, and next-generation leaders are identified, educated, and prepared for future responsibilities.
The Benefit of Meetings with the Family Wealth Advisor for Generations to Come
The Rising Generation will greatly benefit from family meetings, as formal governance will provide guidance and support before transferring the financial responsibility. Family financial meetings will ease the transition and create better opportunities for generations to come. As family wealth advisors, we strive to deliver on our multigenerational promise by providing guidance through family meetings. Reach out to your trusted Pathstone advisor who can play an integral role as meeting facilitators and can help organize family discussions or contact us to answer any questions or learn how we can help.
At Pathstone, our FuturePath initiative aims to educate the rising generation, provide a community of peers, and empower them to take an active role in their family legacy. Learn more.
Please see the PDF version of this article for important disclosures.