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Principle 1: Integrate planning for family wealth

The possibilities of wealth are abundant and creating a long-term, overall wealth plan can help you to realize those many possibilities.  As you develop your wealth plan, remember that it will, and should, evolve as your family members’ lives evolve. Families who embrace the principle of integrating wealth planning into their overall financial picture engage in certain best practices that help a family bring its vision to life.


Best practice #1: Engage in strategic planning

Families who are successful with integrated planning put themselves in a strong position to be successful in transitioning wealth to future generations. It starts with understanding your current wealth plan structure, evaluating current family circumstances and creating a framework within which to consider changes that may better meet family wealth goals.

The primary goal of our wealth plan review is to simplify the complexities that often come with wealth, presenting an assessment of the client’s current situation and a review of long-term goals. This allows clients to reflect on what they currently have in place and compare that to their current family and financial situations. In some cases, the plan on paper and the picture in the client’s mind are in perfect alignment. But often, the plan and the picture do not quite match up, either because of the passage of time, changed family circumstances or simply because the client does not remember what the documents provide. Our method of organizing and simplifying helps clients understand clearly what is, as well as what could be. Beyond that, this practice allows us to make observations and offer thoughts to consider based on our experience.

Our process is to present our clients with a simplified picture of their wealth— helping clients understand what’s in place and where changes need to be made to reflect their vision. These are the conversations that allow us to help clients (1) develop their family wealth goals and (2) discuss planning options to determine what strategies will best meet those goals, two critical best practices of families who are successful in transitioning wealth to future generations.


Best practice #2: Revisit planning regularly

Planning should never really be ‘finished’. As we work with clients, we engage regularly in ongoing conversations with them about their families and their circumstance, and how changes can impact how they wish to use and enjoy what they have built for themselves. These conversations evolve naturally in the course of our relationships, but evaluating life’s changing circumstances can often use a little help to get started. As you think about the wealth you have created and how you want to use it, it may be helpful to consider thinking about the following questions as family circumstances and dynamics change.

  • Lifetime cash flow
    How have your lifetime dreams evolved and will your finances support them?

  • Wealth transfer
    Have your priorities changed regarding what your family members should receive and how they should use it?

  • Philanthropy
    What philanthropic causes are important to you today, and do you know the most effective ways to fulfill your philanthropic vision?

  • Legacy
    How do you want to be remembered and how would you like your wealth used?

Our holistic, integrated process, which engages the family around the planning they have in place and whether that matches what they envision over time has proved to be an effective method to help the family identify and articulate planning goals, and keep their planning fresh as life changes.


Best practice #3: Involve collaborative advisors

A very important part of integrated wealth planning is recognizing the fundamental truth in a quote from Aristotle: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” This is well understood by those who are successful in creating lasting legacies, and it sums up how we view teamwork and collaboration, both among your CIBC Private Wealth team and between our team and your other advisors.

Wealth transfer planning is a complex process that almost always requires multiple perspectives and strategies from a team of advisors with multi-disciplinary skills. For many clients, our advisor summit and its emphasis on the importance of coordinating and collaborating with the various advisors involved brings significant value because it combines the breadth of knowledge and skills from all parties, ranging from attorneys to accountants, insurance specialists and, often, business advisors.

Best results for the client always come from a spirit of collaboration. At a minimum, your relationship manager will seek to coordinate with the other advisors in advance of the annual review, sharing thoughts on next steps and asking for input. The relationship among your team of advisors should take on a life of its own after a while and be an integral part of your wealth planning model.

The possibilities of planning for family wealth are abundant. So is the scope of resources available to you through CIBC Private Wealth. Integrated and strategic planning for retirement, wealth preservation, business transition, estate planning implementation, and much more lays the foundation for “living” the principles of legacy planning.

Talk with your CIBC Private Wealth advisor about all of the resources available to you to implement the legacy planning principles.


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