November 2014

‘Tis the Season

The Holiday Season is a time of year when thoughts often turn to both your children and your own childhood. You probably have young adults who are an important part of your life. In the spirit of helping them, below are ways that clients and others have positioned their children for future success.

Develop the child's own Health Care Power of Attorney. Age 18 is generally the age of majority. This means a parent will not necessarily have a default right to make health decisions for her child, even when the child is incapacitated and cannot make them for herself. We have been helping our client's children as they turn 18 be proactive and spell out their wishes regarding important health care decisions.

Introduce them to mom and dad's advisors. One of the intangible -- but very real -- benefits of having a core of trusted advisors (e.g., financial, accounting, legal, insurance) is the sense of stability and comfort it can provide client's and members of their family, particularly in times of transition and challenge.

Join the business. A new client has 2 sons that may be coming to work in his company. Discussion points include: How will they know if/when this is the right career path for them? When should they have ownership? At what price?

Communication. Family Meetings can involve discussions about business, investments, charitable giving, maintaining a sense of "family," etc. They may be very elaborate or more basic. Whatever the format, we've seen many times in our practice that the more clients communicate with their family about their finances and plans for the future, the better the outcomes for the children and grandchildren.

Build their Team. Encourage children to have at least a conversation in their early to mid-20s with mom and dad's financial advisor. Most people probably do not realize the value of a great team of trusted advisors this early, but beginning at this point can dramatically improve your children's financial future.

Providing resources to start a business. A client of ours helped his son establish a new company and loaned it money to help him purchase a franchise. The son has since added a second location.

Gifting. For more details, see our October Newsletter here.