Thinking about the future and what will happen to your family after you die, is not exactly a fun thing to do.
However, if you want the wealth that you have built up to continue on through your children and grandchildren’s generations, then it’s important to take a proactive approach.
So how do you ensure a successful wealth succession? Here are a handful of simple steps that are worth bearing in mind.
Initially, it’s worth discussing with your family how you see the wealth being used in the future – essentially, what is its purpose? Is it simply there to provide them with a comfortable lifestyle or do you have other grand hopes and aspirations?
Ensuring that the distribution of your assets is fair is another key factor. That doesn’t necessarily mean splitting them equally – this may not be desirable nor convenient.
Being open with those who will inherit on how you see the assets changing hands, and why, will likely help quash any potential resentment.
It’s important to get your family prepared for how they will handle that wealth too. If this represents a big change for them, there is a greater chance of the wealth being squandered.
So give them the opportunity to at least see how you manage those assets, if not giving them the chance to do so themselves in a controlled environment. With this level of preparation behind them, they will be better equipped to ensure the wealth continues on through future generations.
Finally, be on your guard for future risks. From economic crises to changes to the tax infrastructure, there are plenty of as-yet unknown dangers which could diminish that wealth.
Protecting against them will often involve the use of advisers, so get your loved ones used to working with them in advance of any actual succession.
Jim Emsley, Managing Director from ELM Legal Services said: “Nobody likes to think about dying or how our families will cope after we have gone. But it is important to make sure they are prepared to handle the wealth left to them, in order to ensure it lasts throughout further generations, and that means talking openly about it.”
“Of course, the best way to ensure that your assets are divided precisely to your wishes is to write a comprehensive Will.”