Preparing Next Gen for Wealth: Money Conversations and Inheritance Planning

    | July 31, 2023


    Telemus’ years of experience helping families manage generational wealth and build lasting legacies has taught us many lessons about familial wealth transfers. Of these lessons, one of the most important is that it’s never too early to start preparing children for their eventual roles as financial stewards of generational wealth. That preparedness takes a lot of communication, education, and leading by example—and Telemus is here to help.

    Today’s rapidly changing financial landscape has made it more important than ever for parents to have open and honest conversations with their children about money. Uncomfortable as they may be, candid conversations about family finances are the best way to prepare the next generation for the realities and responsibilities that come with familial wealth.

    The Importance of Communication

    The subject of money and inheritance has long been considered taboo. We at Telemus believe it’s time to break that silence. Talking about money with young children helps them develop a healthy relationship with wealth and a better understanding of financial matters, which they’ll need when the time comes for them to be responsible for the family’s wealth. Though the instinct may be to keep children out of financial conversations, involving them in discussions about family finances helps parents equip their kids with the knowledge and skills they need to make informed decisions in the future.

    Teaching Financial Literacy

    Parents can help ensure their children will be prepared to manage family wealth by teaching them financial literacy from a young age. Age-appropriate financial education covering subjects like budgeting, saving, investing, and personal finance can help children internalize crucial financial concepts that will serve them well with their personal and familial financial matters. By instilling these skills early on, parents can empower their children to make sound financial choices and navigate the complexities of wealth management.

    Estate Planning

    Parents should work with a trusted financial advisor to create a comprehensive estate plan well in advance of any transfer of wealth. A plan that reflects the family’s values, goals, and intentions for the family’s wealth is essential to ensure a smooth transfer of wealth to the next generation. Telemus can help with the estate planning process, including establishing wills, trusts, and other legal mechanisms to protect and distribute assets according to the parents’ wishes, though that doesn’t mean the parents should be doing it all by themselves. Involving children in the estate planning process can foster a sense of responsibility and ownership over the family’s wealth, which they’ll need in the future if they want to execute their duties as wealth stewards.

    Instilling Values and Responsibility

    Knowing the ins and outs of financial matters is crucial, but it isn’t enough to ensure a long-lasting family legacy. The children’s values will do as much or more to inform their choices as their financial knowledge, so it’s crucial for parents to instill positive values in their children from an early age. Emphasizing gratitude, humility, empathy, and charity won’t just help children grow up into great adults, it will help ensure they use the family wealth for the good of all, not just themselves. Teaching children about the importance of philanthropy and encouraging them to actively participate in charitable giving will help them understand how critical it will be for them to manage their inheritance responsibly and understand the impact it can have on others.

    Preparing children to be responsible stewards of family wealth involves years of steady education, communication, and leading by example. Talking about money, teaching financial literacy, letting them participate in estate planning, and instilling the right values in children may not be easy, but it is the best way for parents to empower their children to handle the complexities of wealth management long before they ever have to step into the role of financial steward. Parents don’t have to do it alone, however—trusted Telemus advisors can help make the process easier and more effective at every step of the way. If you or anyone you know would like to learn more about how Telemus can help you, please don’t hesitate and reach out to us.




    The information provided is general and educational in nature and should not be construed as personalized investment, tax, or insurance advice. You should consult with your own tax or insurance advisor regarding your personal situation. The statements contained herein are based solely upon the opinions of Telemus Capital, LLC. All opinions and views constitute our judgments as of the date of writing and are subject to change at any time without notice. Information was obtained from third party sources, which we believe to be reliable, however Telemus Capital cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of such information, and certain information presented here may have been condensed or summarized from its original source. PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT A GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS. Insurance and investment decisions should always be made based on the client’s specific financial needs, goals and objectives, time horizon and risk tolerance. Current and future portfolio holdings are subject to risk. Risks may include interest-rate risk, market risk, inflation risk, deflation risk, currency risk, reinvestment risk, business risk, liquidity risk, financial risk and cybersecurity risk. These risks are more fully described in Telemus Capital’s Firm Brochure (Part 2A of Form ADV), which is available upon request. Telemus Capital does not guarantee the results of any investments. Investment, insurance and annuity products are not FDIC insured, are not bank guaranteed, and may lose value. Advisory and Insurance services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Telemus Capital and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. No advice may be rendered by Telemus Capital unless a client service agreement is in place.

    Trever Helmstead, CFA, CFP®

    Trever currently works as a Wealth Advisor whose clients maintain Midwest roots. He helps affluent and emerging wealth families achieve their financial goals and make a smooth transition to retirement. As a trusted advisor for firm’s most complex ultra net worth families he finds work highly fulfilling leveraging his 20+ years of financial services experience.

    Trever Helmstead, CFA, CFP®
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