At the Alchemia Group we are helping our clients think & act differently in regards to their wealth and its impact on thier family - because we know it is more than just numbers and plans, it's the Balance of Art & Science with Pragmatism and Vision.
I had a very interesting conversation with Chris Venn, a partner with the Legacy Companies. We talked about the idea that when you create any form of Family Wealth Document, (a will, a letter of intentions, a trust, etc.) you are actually designing and creating the parameters for a relationship that you will not be a party to. In fact, you are designing multiple relationships!
For example, when you create a trust for your children and grandchildren, the trust document defines how they, as beneficiaries will relate and interact with each other, with the trustee and with the financial assets held in the trust. You are telling them how they are to behave when it comes to the various roles involved with a trust.
This says to me we need to spend a little more time being thoughtful rather than just accepting the ‘boilerplate’ language ‘that everyone has in their documents.’ In the case of a trust a starting point could be the question ‘If I was a beneficiary of this trust how would I want to be treated?’
At the core a healthy perspective on Family Wealth Planning is based on understanding that you don’t start with THINGS or the taxes imposed upon them. You start with PEOPLE: Who you were and are and who your family is and might become.