Many advisors say they do Estate/Legacy planning for families, but here at Uncommon Wealth Partners we do Estate/Legacy planning a little differently. It seems like when we talk to someone about their legacy or wealth transfer to the next generation, they want to figure out the best way to leave only their money. There is way more to wealth than just money! It takes an uncommon approach, uncommon planning and uncommon execution to really leave the legacy that you desire.
This is the history behind what we call the Family Conversation. We were working on a big estate/legacy plan with a very successful farming client. We worked months on this plan and we worked with the family lawyer and CPA to make sure we presented a very thought-out plan that covered every one of their desires and objections they had at the beginning of the process. It was a neat plan. As we closed the final meeting, the family thanked us and then in passing one of them said something like, “How do we tell our kids what we just put in place.” They both looked at us and from that point on we started offering the Family Conversation. We knew that just doing an estate plan is only half the battle. The real power is when you can have someone help lead the whole family through the entire plan and allow the children or next generation to ask questions.
We took a full two days with the whole family and that consisted of the parents, the three children, and the spouses of the two married children. The first day we focused on the values that the family held in high regard, what shaped them into the people they are today, and lastly what things they learned from their parents through the years. We were laughing hysterically one minute and crying the next. It was one of the neatest things I have ever been a part of, to see this family who have had so many years together be able to laugh together as well as process deeper issues. It was such a healing time for everyone! That was the first day.
The second day was more of the nuts and bolts of what we had put in place. We allowed the parents to communicate what they wanted to achieve by doing the estate plan and then we helped articulate some of the more detailed points of the plan. And then at the end we allowed each person to ask questions or clarify in more detail any part of the plan. After the meeting was done, one of the children said how much they respected and loved their parents for having the hard conversation and allowing them into the details of their plan. To this day, we have a great relationship with everyone in the family and we plan to have a lasting relationship with each one of them because we were able to facilitate a family conversation about a hard topic.
Of the few people that actually do an estate/legacy plan, the majority tend to think that writing it in their will is the best way to communicate it. It is our belief that you are missing a huge opportunity to make a lasting impact on your children. We would love the opportunity to help facilitate a Family Conversation for you and your family. We don’t even need to do the estate planning part of the plan, but we will need to read what you have in place before we meet everyone, so we can effectively communicate what you have already put in place. Family dynamics can be hard and we understand that but given an opportunity, families can forgive each other, laugh together, and ultimately heal.
Be uncommon when it comes to your estate planning. Your legacy has already started. Take the next step and do something that will be talked about for generations to come.