Some call Baby Boomers — those between 52 and 70 this year — the Sandwich Generation because many are caring for both parents and children.
Similarly, many in this age group are sandwiched between inheriting assets or family businesses, and planning for future distributions of their own assets or transferring the family business.
An estimated 90 percent of inheritance is depleted by the third generation, and only 12 percent of family businesses survive from the second to the third generation, research shows. It is hard to know exactly how to prevent this, but many believe that communicating with and educating family members is key.
TELL YOUR STORY
Preserving wealth and family business is only part of the picture. Now is the time you can add to the picture of your life, change the story and make yourself understood. Simply put, people in this age group have reached a stage in their lives when finding meaning in life has become a priority.
You want your adult children and grandchildren to understand what you value most and why — how you have tried to make a difference and where. You also want them to be financially literate and prepared to inherit. You want your children to know why you give to your favorite charities, and you may hope that they carry on those choices.
Financial and legal advisers who work with adults in this situation may not feel comfortable starting the “soft” conversations around money and values. It is up to you to ask these professionals if they will work with your family to articulate the values that accompany the inheriting and passing on of valuables. Much more than assets are about to be transferred; ideals are being passed on to the next generation as well.
You can start the conversation yourself. Do you know the charitable organizations that mean the most to the people closest to you?...