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WS Legacy Principles

What’s your vision for success?

We’ve learned that success often means achieving a sense of satisfaction and joy about the use of your wealth for yourself, your family and causes you hold dear. It also means having peace of mind about your financial affairs, trusting that your wealth advisor is managing the complexities of wealth ownership. Additionally, for some, it means that plans are in place to realize your vision for broader community impact and a lasting family legacy.

In general, we have observed that families who are successful at transitioning wealth in healthy ways from one generation to the next and creating a legacy that can endure beyond their lifetimes, adhere to three core principles. These families integrate planning for family wealth, develop the rising generations, and evolve a healthy family wealth culture.

Principles are, by definition, abstract, and without concrete methods to implement them, they are not very useful. They have to become more than theoretical ideas and should be turned into practical realities within the way your family operates. And so we have further observed that the most successful families engage in certain best practices that support the development and adoption of these principles — concrete steps for implementing the principles in the life of the family.

Principle 1: Integrate planning for family wealth

What does ‘integrated planning’ really mean? When clients ask us this question, we often tell them to ‘picture your wealth plan.’ It sounds like a simple thing to do, and yet, for many families, articulating what they envision as a legacy for the wealth they have created or inherited can be a daunting task with a sense that what they do should echo across generations. Creating a long-term, overall family wealth plan is an evolving process, beginning, as all things do, with a first step. We can help. 

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Principle 2: Develop the rising generations

Preparing the money for the children — doing the planning — is an important step. However, families that stop there overlook the importance of preparing the children for the money, through education and appropriate transparency and involvement in family wealth planning. Helping younger generation family members understand financial concepts and how they fit into the family wealth picture can be a formidable task in a world where investments and wealth planning are ever more complex concepts. We can help.

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Principle 3: Evolve a healthy family wealth culture

Culture: the accepted norms, values, visions, working style, beliefs, habits and behaviors of a group. “The way we do things around here.” It’s fair to say that a culture is built on good communication. Talking — about things and through things with family members — is the common thread that runs through the principle of evolving a healthy family culture around wealth. Unfortunately, money is one of the last taboo topics in many families. We can help.

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Beth Mayfield

“I have seen our Legacy offering guide many families through a healthy transition of wealth. Our approach focuses on multiple generations working together to understand what wealth means to individual family members and to the family as a whole to help them create a true family legacy.”

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Workshops at a glance

How do we facilitate ongoing family conversations? View a selection of our workshop offerings.

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Incorporating philanthropy into your wealth plan

Philanthropic giving can be an expression of a person’s beliefs and values, a way to connect with others in the community or with family, and an opportunity to create a legacy that can be passed to future generations.

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