U.S. Trust conducts an annual survey of high-net-worth and ultra- high-net-worth Americans. A few of their findings:
• “U.S. Trust found that family dynamics, including change in family structures and roles among men, women and multiple generations, affect both immediate and extended family members. While families grow more complex, so do their challenges.”
• “Regardless of age, the wealthy feel strongly about putting their financial success to work in a way that is meaningful and will create positive social change. They rank ‘giving back to society’ among the most important uses of their wealth, and would like to help foster greater income equality and opportunity in the country.”
A few considerations they suggest:
• “Blended families have unique needs for wealth and estate planning. Wealthy investors with complex family structures may wish to consult an advisor to make sure their estate plan transfers wealth to current and former spouses, children and other heirs in the manner and proportion they desire.”
• “Multigenerational trusts can also be helpful in supporting current needs while planning for an eventual tax-efficient transfer to the next generation. High-net-worth investors may wish to ask their advisors about ways to generate income for older members of the family while ensuring long-term financial security for younger ones.”
For an interesting and informative 5 minute summary of the survey, take a look at this video.
As always, planning is the best option when it comes to complex family dynamics. Invest the time and money to protect your wealth, your goals, and your family.