We spend a lot of time with the families we partner with implementing a variety of initiatives – tax efficient wealth transfer and estate planning, philanthropic planning, risk mitigation, and investment portfolio construction and maintenance to name a few. Addressing items like these early and often is a responsible approach to managing family resources.
As families mature, the additional initiative of educating and preparing the next generation to be stewards of the family wealth becomes increasingly necessary. It can sometimes feel daunting to families as they navigate how to give up some of the control they’ve been accustomed to. Further, turning a blind eye towards engaging the next generation could create resentment and confusion amongst family members as the family branches grow. Financial responsibility evolves from overseeing the finances directly to guiding the next generation on how to do the same. Spending time and energy on educating and mentoring the next generation is an investment that will pay dividends well into the future!
We’ve created the following guide of best practices to aid in the development of the next generation so that they can practice financial responsibility and ultimately be prepared to continue carrying on the family legacy, whatever that may look like for your family!
- Be cognizant of money messages communicated (consciously or not) to next generation (G2)
- Look for opportunities to talk with the G2 about how you make financial decisions
- Articulate family values as they relate to charitable giving
- Agree on allowance and what expenses G2 will be responsible for covering
- Discuss areas of interest and possible career paths, acknowledge family resources may be able to supplement lower paying career paths
- At age 18, introduce to estate attorney to understand and execute: Health Care Proxy, Financial Power of Attorney, (possible opportunity to discuss wills and trusts as well)
- Subscribe to credit monitoring service and learn about credit scores, obtain a credit card to start building credit and learn best practices
- If G2 has any earned income, open Roth IRA and gift contribution up to limit in order to start teaching concepts of saving and investing
- Introduce the idea that a prenuptial agreement is expected (ideally before a serious relationship starts)
- Continue discussions around continued education and career paths along with expectations around earned income and post-college supplemental distributions
- Gradually increase the expenses G2 is responsible for handling (even if it is from assets provided by G1) to encourage managing their own financial situation independently
- Consider a one-time gift or trust distribution as 'seed money' upon graduation to encourage independent decision making and learning from mistakes (watch whether they spend, save, invest, or donate)
- Offer assistance in deploying funds into an investment portfolio
- If needed, have G2 propose how much they are hoping to receive in distributions to supplement earned income based on a budget
- G2 takes over making payments towards rent, food, insurance, etc., from agreed upon funds
- G2 learns about company benefits, insurance, taxes, and retirement savings
- For personal financial support, agree on how much will be available from family assets and for how long
- For business financial support, discuss pairing raising outside capital along with a match from family assets to encourage an independent vetting process
- Work together to assess what budget is appropriate for new home purchase
- Make sure ongoing home maintenance and upkeep is supportable by a combination of earned income and trust distributions
- Discuss options around titling and financing:
- Family Trust assets could be used to own the property for asset protection reasons
- Alternatively, the Family Trust or G1 could be the mortgage lender
- All assets for benefit of G2 are disclosed to G2 and fiancé during the prenuptial agreement process
- Talk through what additional family financial support may or may not be made available for an expanding family
If you would like to discuss how to implement this roadmap for your family, please don't hesitate to reach out to speak with one of our experienced advisors.
Download Now: Family Roadmap PDF