Different stages of life mean different phases of financial advice. And while many advisors do a great job of educating clients on financial products and assets, there’s something to be said about the “non-financial” assets that you can pass down.
What are your values and vision for your family?
What are your values and vision for life?
Have you thought of a family mission statement?
What are your family narratives?
Most everyone has a family narrative that they’ve heard growing up, or perhaps one that they’ve told to their children. These stories have a powerful way of instilling the lessons that make it into the family mission statement.
These narratives can be anything. They could describe how you persevered through your first job, or how their parents rallied through difficult times. It could be a story of how your grandparents met. The key to a good family narrative is that it has a lesson or a message to inspire future generations.
The stories that we tell of our families shape the people we’ve become. So go ahead and document your family stories.
What about an “Instruction Manual”?
Leaving a sizable inheritance can seem desirable, in theory. Yet, many heirs aren’t often prepared for large inheritances. It’s important to think about the skills your kids may or may not have to manage those assets.
Help your family get involved in financial discussions, or think about what they need to learn. This can help everyone prosper into the next generations.
Begin early by suggesting that your kids have college financing discussions with you and your advisor. You may wish to have your children included in how to manage investment properties you may own, or the importance of other assets. It stands to reason that there’s a benefit to passing down a financial education and not money along.
Other suggestions may include having weekly family meetings, annual family retreats, or involving your children in financial discussions that may affect them personally.
As you build your legacy, it’s also important to remind family members of their human capital, their most important asset – themselves; that they can pass along to their loved ones. Those non-financial assets are just as important to legacy planning as the financial ones.