When it comes to wealth, family structures are often complicated. People live longer, sometimes with multiple careers or even multiple marriages. Many families are also increasingly international in nature. And each situation requires a unique solution.
We’ve helped families over the years, by bringing an unbiased perspective to the emotion and impulse that sometimes colours discussions around these complex and sensitive issues. We’re here to guide you and your family towards the right solution.
My life stages
Some of our clients walk through our doors with a clear life mission, but many others don't. They need inspiration, guidance and a sense of what options are out there and what others have done.
Below, you’ll find real-life stories, useful insights and perhaps even some inspiration. You’ll also find examples of the sorts of questions our wealth planners can help you answer.
Children and grandchildren
Planning your children's future is important. Your children are your legacy and you want to equip them for the challenges ahead. But in a changing world, what skills will they need? Perhaps you’re wondering how much money you should set aside for them. We can help you give them the best chance at success.
Questions to ask yourself
It’s helpful to begin financial planning early if you want it to be as effective as possible. There’s a lot to consider, so start by asking yourself these questions:
When you become a parent, your priority is to safeguard your children’s future, whether you’re there or not. What if something were to happen to you? Besides the emotional distress, how would losing your income affect them? Are you covered for every possibility?
Transferring wealth to the next generation is about more than money. You'll want to know they're inheriting your values too. Do they appreciate how hard you worked to become successful? Do they understand that wealth doesn't define them? And can you rely on them to manage their wealth carefully?
Transferring wealth to the next generation comes with difficult questions. When you have one heir, things can be relatively simple. With multiple heirs, the situation gets more complicated. How can you be fair to your loved ones with very different interests and skills? What’s the minimum you need to do to set the next generation up in life? How much wealth should be passed on to them and when?
Because people are living and earning for longer, wealth often transitions to people who are already in their 30s, 40s or even 50s. Sometimes decisions involve multiple generations and complex family structures. It’s possible that there will also be grandchildren to consider, and then the decision of whether to skip a generation becomes more real.
Education and career
A good education can open doors. You can ensure your children get the best possible opportunities by starting with the right plan. We can help you find the answers and plan the journey, so that you can provide them with the right tools to succeed.
Questions to ask yourself
You want your children to have the most fulfilling life possible. There’s a lot to consider, so start by asking yourself these questions:
In a changing world, it's hard to know what skills your children will need. How can you make sure they receive quality schooling? Do you want your children to be educated close to home? Or are there better opportunities abroad?
It’s never too early to talk to your children about money: how it was earned, how it should be managed and why it doesn’t define them. Does your family have the right perspective on wealth? Educating younger generations about the value of money and the responsibilities that come with wealth are important steps towards making them trusted partners in managing family capital.
You’ve built up substantial savings and investments, and now you want to use that wealth to help your children follow careers that aren’t necessarily focused on financial gain. Families may devise plans to allow their children to follow their hearts in their working lives, whilst being guaranteed a minimum annual salary.
Sarah Allat, Head of Wealth Planning Advisory, discusses the biggest issues when it comes to wealth transfer
Marriage and divorce
Lives may not be as linear as they once were, but one fact remains: nothing dissipates wealth as quickly as marriage and divorce. While many marriages last a lifetime, some sadly don’t. In those cases, it’s important to be aware of all the options with regard to finances. We can help facilitate this difficult conversation by putting it into the broader context of financial planning.
Questions to ask yourself
When it comes to relationships, it’s difficult to anticipate the future. But general principles can be established, so start by asking yourself these questions:
You may worry about what happens if and when your children choose to get married. You could decide that only your direct descendants should benefit from your wealth. Or you could include the future partners of your children. Establishing prenuptial agreements as a normal practice from an early stage could solve some of your worries.
Even if marriage is meant for life, sometimes life goes a different direction. If you want to keep control of your wealth, you need to insure against messy divorces for yourself and your children.
Remarriage can sometimes cause great concern for your children. In this situation, it may be hard to find a perfect solution that pleases everyone. There’s no set formula for blended families.
Very often, partners share the same values and attitudes on discussions about family wealth. However, they occasionally have different perspectives. Perhaps there are diverging opinions on whether children should find their own way to success or if family wealth should help them get a better head start. One partner may want to travel more while the other prioritises a day-to-day standard of living.
Housing and relocation
You've worked hard to get where you are. But with housing prices surging decade after decade, it's almost impossible to get onto the property ladder without help.
Maybe you need help preparing to inherit your parents' estate. Or you want to provide your children with housing. You and your family may even be moving to an entirely different country. Fortunately, we have advisors all over the world to help, whatever your situation.
Questions to ask yourself
When you’re planning a big move, it’s a good idea to begin early. There’s a lot to consider, so start by asking yourself these questions:
You've found a home you love. How can you make it yours – and make sure it stays yours – even if you take a career break? If you're looking for property, there's more to consider than packing boxes.
Property is often one of the biggest issues in succession planning. Should you buy a house outright for your children? Or do you want them to earn it in some way, such as by paying a mortgage, and feel a sense of ownership? How can you support them without taking away their desire and ability to find their own path to success?
Relocating is one of the most stressful life changes you can make. With families becoming more international, there are now many reasons to move abroad. Whether you're moving for love, to be near family or to be closer to your business, there are sure to be financial implications. Have you thought about your investments? Your taxes? There’s a lot to think about beyond packing up your home.
Retirement and succession
What should you consider when planning for tomorrow? What will your legacy be? When you love what you do, stepping aside isn’t easy. But as time goes by, your lifestyle will naturally adjust to a change in priorities. You may want to remain hands on. Or you may want to take a step back and pursue other passions.
Perhaps you’re aiming to leave the world a better place than you found it, make sure your loved ones benefit from your wealth or set up a charitable foundation for a cause close to your heart. With time, you might need to reconsider your financial plan. We can help you make your mark tomorrow while protecting your wealth today.
Questions to ask yourself
To ensure your financial plan is the best it can be, it pays to begin early. There’s a lot to consider, so start by asking yourself these questions:
After a lifetime of hard work, how will you fill your time? Achieving your ambitions or helping others? Indulging in a passion – whether it’s a hobby, interest or business that's driven you throughout your life? Whatever your plans, you'll need enough money to support them. To avoid falling short financially when you retire, it can be worth taking calculated and well-managed risks when investing.
Securing your family financially isn't just about managing your wealth today. It's about protecting it for tomorrow. As part of your estate planning, a trust can help transfer your wealth to other family members or charities. It can also help preserve your wealth during your lifetime and across generations. Succession planning, secure corporate trustees and trusts are just some of the services we provide.
You want to look after your loved ones. But you may also want some of your wealth to go to society or to those less fortunate. Or you might want to invest for impact, generating social and financial returns at the same time. This is where discussions of succession are inseparable from your broader values. However, your family member's views may differ from yours. Our global teams can advise and support you on every aspect of philanthropy, giving to charities and values-based investing. We can help you achieve your philanthropic goals in a financially rewarding way.
Inheritance is a big subject. Maybe you need help preparing to inherit your parents' estate. Or you might be thinking about passing on your wealth to your loved ones. To protect your family's wealth, you'll need the best possible plan.
The appropriate investment strategy when you receive a substantial inheritance will depend on your age at the time of inheritance, your expected spending needs over your lifetime and your appetite for risk.
It's also important to make sure your children are financially and emotionally secure when you're no longer around. What skills will they need? How much money should you set aside for them? And how can you make sure they inherit not just your wealth but your values, too? While you can't predict your children's future, you can certainly help them prepare for it.
And when it comes to inheritance taxation, our advisors can work with you and your tax advisor to guide you. The bigger, more important questions are what you want to achieve while you’re alive and what you want to have control over with your legacy.
Passing on wealth
It can be challenging to strike a balance between enjoying your wealth now and setting money aside for your loved ones.
When it comes to legacy, your first consideration might be securing the financial future of your children and other family members. This might include support for your children’s education, a helping hand onto the housing ladder or enabling them to follow career paths that are not wholly focused on financial gain.
You may also want to use your wealth for other causes you care about.
What's important is that any plan must be flexible enough to deal with changing priorities but solid enough to withstand future shocks.
Planning for a time when you’re no longer around may seem daunting. It doesn’t have to be. All it takes is an open conversation. You’ll have questions, and together we can find the answers. The earlier you start planning, the earlier you’ll be ready.
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