Why Do Families Fail when Transferring Wealth?
A legacy plan is a vital part of the financial planning process, ensuring the assets you have spent your entire life accumulating will transfer to the people and organizations you want, and that family members are prepared to inherit and execute your wishes.
Kiplinger’s recent article entitled “4 Reasons Families Fail When Transferring Wealth” gives us four common errors that can cause individuals and families to veer off track. Here is a short summary of Why Families Fail when Transferring Wealth:
Failure to create a plan. It’s hard for people to think about their own death. This can make us delay our estate planning. If you die before a comprehensive estate plan is in place, your goals and wishes can’t be carried out. You should establish a legacy plan as soon as possible. A legacy plan can evolve over time, but a plan should be grounded in what your or your family envisions today, but with the flexibility to be amended for changes in the future.
Poor communication and a lack of trust. Failing to communicate a plan early can create issues between generations, especially if it is different than adult children might expect or incorporates other people and organizations that come as a surprise to heirs. Bring adult children into the conversation to establish the communication early on. You can focus on the overall, high-level strategy. This includes reviewing timing, familial values and planning objectives. Open communication can mitigate negative feelings, such as distrust or confusion among family members, and make for a more successful transfer.
Poor preparation. The ability to get individual family members on board with defined roles can be difficult, but it can alleviate a lot of potential headaches and obstacles in the future. But sometimes, getting family members involved in the process can be a bad idea. It depends on the situation. As a matter of fact, getting potentially litigious heirs involved can be the definition of failed plan for transferring wealth.
Overlooked essentials. Consider hiring a team of specialists, such as a financial adviser, tax professional and estate planning attorney, who can work in together to ensure the plan will meet its intended objectives.
Whether creating a legacy plan today, or as part of the millions of households in the Great Wealth Transfer that will establish plans soon if they haven’t already, preparation and flexibility are uber important to wealth transfer success.
Create an accommodative plan early on, have open communication with your family and review philosophies and values to make certain that everyone’s on the same page. As a result, your loved ones will have the ability to understand, respect and meaningfully execute the legacy plan’s objectives.
To learn more, read these articles: Common Mistakes when Making Beneficiary Designations and Can a Person with Alzheimer’s Sign Legal Documents? and Can My Family Fight the Gift of My Estate to Caregiver?
Reference: Kiplinger (Aug. 29, 2021) “4 Reasons Families Fail When Transferring Wealth”