Don’t Just Transfer Wealth – Transfer Values Too

Robert Schein has this helpful insight about transferring family values (more than just money) to children and grandchildren, to give them a more holistic inheritance. Good, open, honest commuication about expectations and the famiy’s values are a great way to transfer values (and money) from one generation to another.

Think about including children or grandchildren in talks about money, the family business, or the values that guide you and make your family unique. Mr. Schein looks at constrasting results from two wealthy families: one (Gina Rinehart, an Australian mine owner) where the children are now fighting in court over an inheritance, another (Warren Buffett, of Berkshire Hathaway) where the children are harmonious and peace and were given a limited inheritance to use for philanthropy (while the rest goes to a designated non-family philanthropy). Buffett values thrift and hard work, and has shared with his children his belief that inherited wealth can corrupt people, which he doesn’t want for them, so his estate plan (and family’s response) shows his values.

Communication about money, values, and expectations is vital – heirs often cooperate better and can help ensure the family’s  values and ethos continues  for generations if they know what they will (or won’t) get, and have had those conversations early and often with parents or grandparents. Rinehart’s children don’t appear to have had those vital conversations, while Buffett has clearly shared his value with his children.

My law firmJohnson Law KC LLC, enjoys helping clients transfer their wealth and values to the next generation. My firm works with clients on various estate planning and probate needs to help clients take care of their legal needs quickly and inexpensively, and has years of experience counseling clients on a variety of legal issues. Call (913.707.9220) or email me ( today to schedule a free, convenient consultation.

(c) 2017, Stephen M. Johnson, Esq.


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