“Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.”

The saying is true, and the cycle is real. As the expression indicates, after the buying, the building, and the selling, there’s rarely anything left of a family’s wealth for the fourth generation. Multi-generational planning focuses on breaking that cycle by allowing your heirs to have the knowledge and stability necessary to build a foundation for future financial success.

At the core of successful wealth planning is a family that’s intentional and can arrive at a vision incorporating values consistent with what the family strives for, works toward, and tries to achieve. The first step towards a multi-generational wealth planning strategy is to get everyone on board with a single plan. Everyone must come to the table, including outside trusted professionals—such as financial advisors, attorneys, accountants, business partners, and even charitable organizations—so everyone works collaboratively and is on the same page.

Begin with a plan. Understand the family’s history, create a family charter, and be open to communication and flexibility regarding future wealth management.

  • A family charter is a document that describes the values, vision, mission, roles, and responsibilities of family members. It should also contain sections on the charter’s purpose, how it’ll change throughout the generations, and which members have decision-making capabilities. Lastly, a family charter should detail members’ accountability, participation, and, most importantly, transparency.
  • Look past the tangible aspects of financial planning and become genuinely involved in the overall well-being of future generations. It’s this new perspective that allows a family’s wealth to take a giant leap toward long-term sustainability. Explore the “dimensions of wealth”—financial, human, family, structural, societal—as a means to clarify the values, ideas, and traits your family wants to pass along to future generations.

Once the discussions are on track, it’s time to incorporate a wealth-transfer plan. Successful plans take on a holistic approach that should include:

  • Retirement planning
  • Estate planning
  • Tax planning
  • Charitable giving
  • Business succession planning

Creating and implementing a multi-generational plan is no easy task. It takes a lot of hard work, long hours, family cooperation, and professional guidance to see it come to fruition. The satisfaction that comes with knowing your family will be financially stable for future generations is the priceless reward for completing the planning process. Every family is different, and your circumstances are unique. Contact our office today at 518-581-1642, and we’ll help you start planning.


We’d Love to Help You With Your Estate Plan


This document is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. One should consult a legal or tax professional regarding their own personal situation. Any comments regarding safe and secure investments and guaranteed income streams refer only to fixed insurance products offered by an insurance company. They do not refer in any way to securities or investment advisory products Insurance policy applications are vetted through an underwriting process set forth by the issuing insurance company. Some applications may not be accepted based upon adverse underwriting results. Death benefit payouts are based upon the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company. The firm providing this document is not affiliated with the Social Security Administration or any other government entity.

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