Throughout its history, the U.S. has had many extremely wealthy citizens. Some of those citizens left vast sums to their heirs and some of those families are still wealthy and known today.
However, for a country that has had so many wealthy citizens, the U.S. seemingly has very few lasting dynasties.
We rarely hear about the descendants of wealthy people who do not have any of that wealth left.
While transferring intergenerational wealth can be handled through good estate planning, it appears that making plans is not necessarily enough to ensure that the wealth will be properly preserved as Forbes points out in “The Rich Open Up About Family Wealth.”
The central problem is that the heirs of the wealthy are not guaranteed to value the wealth as much as those who created it. Even when they do value the wealth, they might not have the right knowledge to know how to preserve it.
There is no good wealth management gene that can be passed down along with the wealth.
What this means is that families need to talk about their wealth.
Younger generations need to be educated about how difficult it was to create the wealth and how they should go about making sure the wealth they inherit will be preserved for their children and grandchildren.
You need an estate plan to make sure that your wealth is properly transferred to your heirs. However, it also might be wise to tell your heirs what they should do to protect what you have created.
Reference: Forbes (Oct. 10, 2017) “The Rich Open Up About Family Wealth.”
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