Five Big Challenges to overcome when Transferring Wealth (and why you need an advisor)

Five Big Challenges to overcome when Transferring Wealth



It’s never easy to start addressing wealth transfer issues due to emotions and conflicts. However, if managing wealth transfer is properly done and communicated to everyone in the family, it can benefit future generations. Wealth can get complicated, when seen as a family business, property, or merely the moral destitution of savings. Learn more about the five significant challenges everyone faces with wealth transfer and what can be done for the best results.


Challenge #1 – Failure to Plan


The biggest challenge that families face when making a smooth handover to the next generation is not having the proper plans in place. Often plans for proper future wealth transfer are put on the backburner because everyone is busy and there are more pressing issues at hand like running the business.  There is also the difficulty of just starting, or changing from the status quo. However, Not having a proper plan of wealth transfer often leads to conflicts as the process unfolds.


The simple answer is just to get started with a small plan in place. Sit down and work out a block of time in a day to even write down thoughts, ideas, and feelings. Keep a journal and start making a record of thoughts when discussing wishes and plans with family and an advisor. Having a list of concerns and ideas can help establish a proper method for the transferal of wealth.


Challenge #2 – Poor Communication


Another challenge is establishing a steady flow of communication within the family. Putting forth a robust framework for the wealth transfer transition is a smart way to go about planning for the future. However, often this does not work as smoothly as we would hope. Too often, the proper plans are not adequately communicated. Information about someone’s wealth and wishes was possibly never expressed out of time, fear of family conflict, or simply not finding the right words.


One way to get around inner-family conflict is to start talking. Create a dialogue with your family and have family meetings where problems can be discussed in a heartfelt way. Talking can encourage discussion and, in turn, less is left to interpretations. It might even be advised to consult your family advisor and have them attend your family meetings to help keep everyone on the same page. To discover how to have better family meetings, please read this article for a few good ideas.


Challenge #3 – Lack of Education


Sometimes just not knowing is one of the worst things that could happen when distributing financial wealth within the family. Not everyone might balance a budget, learn how to write a will, or even understand investments. Many questions or concerns often don’t show up until years later or when the situation is already in motion.


Education is one way that the process of wealth transfer can go smoothly. By providing beneficiaries with the right information and tools, they stand to start building on the best arrangements. Building an educational plan can provide insight to develop better planning and understanding.  Basic financial literacy is a great start.


Challenge #4 – Family Conflicts


It’s not uncommon for families to suffer conflict when considering the succession of wealth issues. Money has this way of creating new arguments, or feelings might be hurt if a person is overlooked or if their wishes go unanswered. Topics already discussed, such as poor communication, lack of education, or poor planning, can result in the absence of a clear vision for the transfer of wealth. However, sometimes it’s just a lack of trust within the family that causes planning for the future to slow down.


Building trust within a family group isn’t done overnight. Even when someone is clear about their wishes and tries to plan, inner conflict might pop up and cause friction within the family unit over the wealth transfer. Having an advisor can be genuinely beneficial. They can act as an outside third-party presence to facilitate and consider the best possible outcome for conflicts and situations. By addressing conflict and issues early on, problems and issues can be dealt with within the family so that everyone is clear on the wishes and plans for the future.


Challenge #5 – Not having an Advisor.


When problems pop up when making wealth plans for the future, they often feel like an emotional roller-coaster. It could even be that goals and wishes have started to pile up, and addressing the issue itself is getting unmanaged. Very often a family puts all the issues on the table and can go years talking about all the problems but there is no accountability for anyone to step up and move the issues to action. There is also the common feeling that a family might feel strange about accepting an outsider to come in and oversee the entire family’s affairs.


An advisor can help adapt to each generation’s demands by being that third-party person to help bring their expertise to planning wealth for the future. Advisors know that having mindful, open discussions with every person in the family can help make the entire process beneficial by adopting solutions and offering their experience and guidance. An advisor helps to keep a family’s interests intact and keep the family accountable for moving forward and bringing to action the issues discussed.  My advice to you is that you find an advisor who truly puts your family first and connects with more than just the family member who pays the bills.





There are many issues to consider when planning the process of wealth transfer. With all the conflicts and problems that build up over time, it is best to meet challenges head-on and sooner than later. The importance of proper planning, having a vision, keeping communication open, educating, and even onboarding an advisor cannot be overstated. No challenge is insurmountable as long as everyone is ready to work towards a bright future together as a family.  Listen, Collaborate and Communicate are the key to overcoming these challenges.

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