Wealth management and family values: The importance of communication in high-net-worth families

Sloan Levett • January 19, 2018

When it comes to effectively protecting, managing, and building your wealth, open lines of communication and a solid understanding amongst family members is key. A full-service Family Office can serve as a facilitator of meaningful discussions to ensure family values are fully aligned with your fiscal objectives.

Open communication with your family can help to secure your family wealth in a number of ways:

Communication Prevents Resentment

Speaking to your family honestly about where they stand with regard to your family wealth will allow you to immediately identify any potential feelings of inequity that might be brewing or lingering, and resolve them before they become problematic.

It is important that each family member fully understands their contribution to, and compensation from, your family wealth. This includes their position in the family business (if any), the administration and upkeep of family-owned assets and properties, the dispensation of an ‘allowance’, the contribution towards major expenses (such as tuition for children), and so forth.

Communication Provides Opportunity to Manage & Share Assets

Establishing decision-making strategies within the family can ensure that all members are ‘on the same page’ regarding ongoing financial decisions, while clarifying the role and responsibilities of each family member in the decision-making process.

Wealth can often require an adjustment period, particularly in households that have seen a significant increase in wealth over a relatively short period of time. After all, with wealth comes opportunity, and determining the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of spending, saving, and investing requires careful consideration.

Communication Allows You to Prepare Your Legacy

With proper planning and preparation, wealth has the potential to benefit your family for generations to come. Clear communication serves several roles in preserving that legacy.

Communication allows you an opportunity to educate the next generation in how to wisely manage your wealth after you have passed it on to them. It also gives you a chance to groom an heir to manage your business interests and/or investment portfolio after you step down. Assumptions can be dangerous, but if the lines of communication are open, you can first confirm that your chosen successor actually wants to fulfill the role.

A little communication can also ensure that there are no unwelcome surprises among your heirs when you pass away. Upset expectations at such an emotional time can wreak havoc on a family, tying the inheritance up if your decision is contested, draining your family wealth through extended legal battles, and even leading to the estrangement of family members.

Communicate With our Family Office Today.

A qualified and robust Family Office can help with so much more than just building and protecting your wealth. The team of advisors at Fuller Landau Family Office can help you plan how your wealth will be passed down to family members, and work with you on a communication strategy to manage expectations and ensure all family members understand their responsibilities.

Contact our Family Office for a complimentary consultation today.


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