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The Importance of a (Family) Wealth Plan

 
03-07-2014  |  By: Jeremy D. Stahl, CPA |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
 

Over the last years, as the financial, legal, business and economic landscape has become exceedingly complex, more and more clients come to desire a comprehensive wealth plan. Clients are often seeking the assistance of a trusted advisor, such as an investment advisor, CPA/Business Manager or even an attorney.

 

The motivation to initiate this process are manifold and are usually the result of a particular life occurrence or realization, retirement, sale of a business, taxes, divorce, marriage,  birth of a child, concentrated wealth issues, illness and incapacitation, family conflict,  legacy and multigenerational concerns, establishment of a new business or financial windfall,  etc. or just simply a bout common sense.  Setting and achieving financial goals can be the fulcrum of any wealth management strategy and can lead to a greater sense of security, confidence, and even personal freedom about one’s financial future.

 

The wealth planning process for wealthy individuals and families in today’s complex world is multifaceted including not only quantitative concerns but initially really focusing on qualitative and philosophical questions.  This is referred to as the Values Based Planning portion of the wealth plan where many questions of intent and desire are openly addressed. These conversations can be lengthy as they may involve the “buy in” of spouses, children, business partners, trustees and others to finalize a vision.

 

However, once this vision of the values based planning portion is finally articulated, the next step is to review what is possible within the realm of a client’s actual financial situation.  This is where matters of asset allocation and investment management, wealth transfer, insurance, charitable contributions, etc. are determined.   Finally, the process moves from establishing values and financial objectives to setting a strategy, implementing solutions, and continually reviewing the progress.

 

All the while and within this process, it will be the financial advisor or business manager who will be crafting and ultimately providing you with a comprehensive financial plan document  that includes asset and cash flow forecasts, budgets and even a so-called “Monte Carlo” analysis for various assumptions and contingencies.

 

It has been our experience that clients who have taken the step to move forward with a comprehensive wealth plan find themselves in a much stronger position to deal with the unexpected and most importantly have a greater sense of security and confidence about their future.