Communicating about wealth to family members

Communicating about wealth to family members

By: Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, JD

In recent years, America, as well as other countries, has become increasingly wealthy. However, there is a 70% failure rate with regard to transferring estates. Most of the failure is due to a lack of communication within the family that leads to mismanagement of money, lawsuits, etc.

  • A practical precursor to a “family meeting” is an executive board meeting with the husband and wife, their advisors, accountant, attorney, financial planner, wealth manager, etc.
  • If you cannot afford such a meeting, meet with only your accountant or wealth manager, and have him put everyone else on a conference call to minimize time.
  • After this precursory meeting, bring your heirs to a meeting, so that they can establish a relationship with the advisors.
  • You can also explain to your heirs certain decisions you have made, such as why one child is inheriting more than another child.

Disclaimer: Law Made Easy Press® provides practical and legal, tax, estate and financial information for educational purposes only. The goal is to help you best work with your professionals to save costs, and to obtain better service and results as an informed consumer. There is no assurance that the laws or sample documents are current, that the forms will achieve the desired goal in all circumstances. Laws change frequently and vary from location. Therefore, you should always consult with a local attorney, accountant, or other expert.

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