An estate plan isn’t all you need. While providing our children with a better life than we had may be a noble goal, the goal is often lost in translation because of the means we choose. As the saying in America goes, it is “shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves in three generations.” In fact, studies show that 60% of transferred or inherited wealth is lost by the end of the second generation, and 90% of family wealth is lost by the third generation.
Is money really the root of all evil? Is giving our children a life of affluence replacing more traditional values such that our descendants cannot manage wealth?
Approaching an estate plan from strictly a tax, asset protection, or other objective standpoint may indeed add to the problem. These issues certainly need to be addressed as part of any comprehensive estate plan, but perhaps the seeds of a legacy are planted during lifetime instead of at death and have little to do with a dollar figure.
Leaving a legacy may involve telling our children and grandchildren how the wealth was accumulated, the work ethic that helped us achieve what we have achieved, and the hard times we went through to get there. It may involve teaching our children, even adult children, how to manage money, invest wisely, plan well, and save for retirement. In that case, even if the money is gone or depleted, we have left a legacy far greater for our descendants because we have truly given them the tools to accumulate and maintain their own wealth. Indeed, isn’t this giving them the better life we had envisioned for them?
We Can Design an Estate Plan Especially for You.
One of our primary goals in working with clients and prospective clients is helping them design an estate plan that fits in with their overall goals and values, rather than fitting their goals into a “cookie-cutter” estate plan. If we can help you, please call (901) 372-5003 or email us here. Your initial consultation with us is always free of charge.