You have worked hard your entire life. You've invested wisely, made wise decisions and done everything you could to build a bright financial future for those you love.
Then why are you going to burden them with your wealth?
The idea that your wealth could become a burden to your family might seem foreign, until you consider the facts:
- 70 percent of all family fortunes are squandered by the time they make it to the second generation
- If there is any wealth left after the second generation is through with it, another 20 percent of families will watch it evaporate due to poor decisions, family fighting and other factors.
- Many once-loving families find themselves in court over inheritances, costing litigants significant amounts of money, creating bad will and doing nothing to honor the legacy of those who left them the money in the first place.
Yes, your hard-earned wealth could become a big burden. But there is something you can do about it. You can do what 10 percent of wealthy families did to preserve their wealth – you can use heritage design to plan for your future.
When most Americans think about managing their wealth, they focus on two practices: financial planning and estate planning. The former helps you protect and grow your money, the latter helps prepare your money for your family.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with either of them, there is a third option, known as heritage design.
Heritage design prepares your family for their inheritances, which go well beyond money.
When you practice heritage design, you are creating a legacy that involves more than just the wealth you have worked so hard to build. Your legacy will include galvanizing the family values that helped you become successful. It will include identifying and nurturing the next generation of family leaders. And it will include creating stories, traditions and systems that allow your loved ones to work together so they can stay together – and protect their inheritances.
It Really Has Nothing To Do with Money
The thing that makes heritage design so effective is that it truly has little to do with money.
It's about family.
It's about being confident that your children and grandchildren will understand what really matters in life. It's about ensuring that your loved ones have the values, ethics, virtues, appreciation of history and skills to protect the things that matter most. It's about preparing your children and grandchildren to protect the family for future generations.
And then it's about the inheritance.
Only after you have successfully separated the family business from the business of the family will you be ready to talk about inheritance. But by then, your loved ones will have a deep appreciation for the gift they are about to receive and what it means to the rest of the family.
When It's Time to Talk Money
After your family has developed a deep understanding about what truly matters to them, it is time to talk money – but not in the traditional way.
In heritage design, money is viewed as a tool to help families accomplish what really matters. For most families, what really matters is that they remain close, free of disputes and in control of the inheritances they received.
Of course this doesn't typically happen, because most families find that their inheritances quickly become burdens from which they want to break. They waste the money in court. Waste the money on bad business investments. Or simply spend too much time being bitter about the money.
That's the burden heritage planning can help you avoid sharing with your family.