Though many wealthy families attend to tax, financial and legal planning, with expert advice and well-developed strategies, they often neglect psychological planning. The consequences can be dire.
There are two sides to every coin. Will the inheritance you leave to loved ones be a blessing or a curse? In the end, it’s up to you.
If you are looking for some guidance on this matter, then consider two intriguing articles by the same author. Each article reaches a different conclusion. The articles recently appeared in Forbes and are titled “Why Family Wealth Is A Curse” and “Why Family Wealth Is A Blessing.” Interestingly, the author is a member of the family that founded the Georgia-Pacific Corporation.
The curses the author identifies are “too much too soon,” “too much of a financial focus,” and “ingratitude.” In contrast, the author notes blessings that include “love,” “choices,” and “gratitude.”
So, how does one help ensure that your own inheritors land safely on the “blessings” side? The author recommends family “open communication” and “teamwork” between and among family members, as well as intergenerational family members.
While the article is written from the perspective of an “inheritor,” there is much to glean from it when planning your own estate. One thing is certain: the failure to prepare your loved ones for their inheritance, and then to protect them from it (and it from them) can be hazardous to your inheritors and to your wealth.
Forbes (March 1, 2013) “Why Family Wealth Is A Curse”
Forbes (March 4, 2013) “Why Family Wealth Is A Blessing”