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How to Speak with Aging Family Members About Wealth and Inheritance Thumbnail

How to Speak with Aging Family Members About Wealth and Inheritance

The Los Angeles Times reported that “about $36 trillion will flow from one generation to another over the next 30 years.” This large amount of inheritance moving from one generation to another means more conversations surrounding money management. While this conversation may feel morbid and uncomfortable, it is essential to making sure your wealth remains after multiple generations. 

How can you make this conversation about financial planning healthy and productive? 


Environmental and personal factors can heavily influence how a conversation will go. Ideally, you will have prepared them that the conversation about wealth and inheritance is coming.

Bringing up the topic out of the blue may overwhelm your family members.  Slowly starting to mention smaller financial topics while easing into the larger inheritance conversation can be extremely beneficial. Understanding when your family members are prepared to hear this conversation, and really understand the wealth that may be coming their way is essential. 

It may be beneficial to introduce them to your wealth manager, so they can start having conversations with them about how to manage their inheritance. 

Be Direct

Sometimes sugar coating a topic feels like it will help ease what might feel uncomfortable, however, being direct will actually help both you and your family in the long run. It’s important to make sure that you understand exactly what may be coming your way in terms of inheritance. Do they have a property in Wyoming that you don’t know about? It’s important that you don’t have any surprises coming your way during such an emotional time. 

Understanding exactly what is included in your inheritance will also allow them to start planning on ways to continue to grow and build that wealth–– with the help of your family members. This introduction to your inheritance will help guide more conversations surrounding wealth management, investment strategies, and financial planning. 

Succession Planning

For some families, inheritance means passing on a business.

 The element of succession planning that rarely gets addressed is the emotional ties that the founder has to the organization. Letting go of the authority and importance of owning a business can be complicated. 

Some of the key factors of planning for the transfer of power often require adding a third-party coach to the mix. In addition, planning for what the founder will do with their time after the transfer is often complicated. Some of the questions that might come up are: 

  • What role will they have?
  • What influence will they have over decisions? 
  • Who has veto power? 
  • What retirement planning will be implemented for the founder?
  • How will company culture change?  

One option is implementing an incremental transfer of power, meaning there is a plan in place to gradually decrease the founder’s involvement in the company over a period of time. Not only will this allow the founder to still feel connected to the company during the transfer, it will also allow the successor to learn from the founder’s experiences. 

Ask for Advice

With age comes wisdom. It can be helpful to acknowledge that you respect and understand that you can learn from your aging family members. 

Ask for advice on how they’ve managed their wealth and what plans they had in place for their financials in the future. This demonstrates that you want what’s best for their life earnings and family. 

At Centura, we believe one of the key elements of liberating your wealth is planning in a way that unpacks your family's values and dreams–– following an overall purpose. As you dive into your family’s finances, it’s important to understand what that purpose is, so you can carry on the tradition.

We Can Help!

At Centura, our process caters to your unique needs, therefore is well-adjusted to serve our audience. Just as important is our passion for finding and solving complex problems. Inherited wealth can be complex. Read more about how to understand the complexities that come with inherited wealth in this blog post. 

Centura Wealth does not make any representations as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability or completeness of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to or incorporated herein.  All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.

We are neither your attorneys nor your accountants and no portion of this material should be interpreted by you as legal, accounting, or tax advice.  We recommend that you seek the advice of a qualified attorney and accountant.

For additional information about Centura, please request our disclosure brochure as set forth on Form ADV using the contact information set forth herein, or refer to the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure website (www.adviserinfo.sec.gov).   Please read the disclosure statement carefully before you engage our firm for advisory services.