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A communications failure can derail your legacy

Bill Cass, CFP®, CPWA®

Bill Cass, CFP®, CPWA®, 05/10/17


When wealth transfer fails from one generation to the next, a leading cause is a lack of communication.

Most people do not want to plan for their legacy. In fact, 60% of adults do not have a will or living trust. Even among families with large estates, many adults do not talk about their finances with their children. A U.S. Trust survey of wealthy individuals found that more than half do not talk about their assets with family. While the majority believe establishing a formal set of principles to guide their legacy is important, only 10% have actually done it.

With trillions of dollars expected to move to the next generation in the coming years, estate planning is an important part of a comprehensive financial plan.

Discussing plans with spouses and other family members is key to a successful transfer of wealth. Chris Hennessey offers ideas for beginning this important dialogue.

  • Host a family meeting to talk about family values and philanthropy
  • Draft a letter to your spouse with a detailed list of contacts to call and key document information in the event of an emergency or end-of-life event.

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About this blog

Financial-planning experts Bill Cass and Chris Hennessey weigh in each week with a range of insights about complex financial planning needs.

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