Will Having $Trillions of Dollars More Help You In the Future?
June 28, 2018
In March of 2018, realdaily.com ran a online report that similarly run by UBS in June of 2017, which stated that the millennial generation could be worth as much as $24 trillion in three years' time, or by 2020. “The wealth of this demographic group, now roughly ranging in age from 21 to 35, is driven by inheritance, entrepreneurial activities and income gains” according to UBS. “That’s roughly 1.5 times the size of the
2015” the bank said. U.S.
I recall reading a similar report in the eighties about the Baby Boomer Generation; how we would be inheriting—it was thought—about $42 trillion based on assets accumulated and transferring from our Post-WWII “Silent Generation” parents. They were considered to have been the most industrious and frugal of past generations and would pass on to their heirs homes, investment property, savings bonds, cds and investment securities and, in some instances, good old fashion cash (or gold) because many were leery of banks or brokerage companies after the Great Depression.
Past Not Always A Predictor of the Future, However…
My reason for mentioning my generation’s experience with generational wealth transfer is a cautionary tale. Why? Because so much of these forecast were way off base. Our actual distributions and transfers were sometimes mired in the cost to liquidate or convert tangible assets and real property into cash or other investable instruments that would earn much higher annual returns. So, for some of us, while inheriting our parent’s home were intended to be a God-send, sometimes there were costs associated with the transfer, sale or attempt to fix up an old property that significantly reduced what actually transferred.
Be Pro-Active If Possible
In short, the warning here is to think through your potential inheritance, and if you can assist in making the proper transfer today for an inheritance many years in the future, please seek expert counsel and get help. For not every inheritance comes free.
Take the Baby Boomer whose aging parents are still alive today. Now in their nineties and, if fortunate, living independently of their children or grandchildren. In about 35% of cases, Boomers are caring for their aging parents in their own homes, some of whom have only Medicare as health coverage but need financial assistance every month. And, being the moral society we are, the same Boomers might still be supporting their own children—now in the 30’s and 40’s—also living in the same home. We called this being “The
Can the same thing happen to Millennials as happened to Baby Boomers? Can anyone really predict or forecast the outcome? Probably not…however, there are key differences in the administrative oversight and pre-wealth transfer process that Millennials can exercise. And there are many healthcare related improvements and home design changes that can accommodate many of the inevitable outcomes that aging populations need, issues that can have direct impact on successor generations.
In the realdaily.com article, it predicts that Millennials will receive this $24 trillion wealth transfer from the following sources and changes in lifestyle:
1) Millennial wealth will come from inheritance, entrepreneurial activity and income gains.
2) Expect growth in impact investing as Millennials focus in on sustainability.
3) Millennials already make up half of on-demand consumers, compared to 22 percent for those ages 55 and older.
Millennials are expected to be quite industrious spurred through entrepreneurial initiatives which have produced many technological advances and a heightened sensitivity to environmental concerns and their desire to live high quality lives. These are all great goals and they give evidence that Millennials will not be standing idly by waiting for financial handouts while their parents are still living, although Lifetime Gifting strategies have been a major estate planning and generational wealth transfer technique promoted for decades.
Compassion and Knowing Each Other Matters Greatly
Millennials, be aware of what lies ahead both in law and, most importantly, in the hearts of your loved ones. More than structuring things to be executed with legal and accounting precision, hearing for what the aging person wants to truly accomplish through their estate is vitally important. This is the last opportunity for some individuals to feels as if their life-long contribution has made a difference.
Your Efforts Can Begin Now!
Some financial and legal aspects of generational wealth transfer can be arranged today while both the Grantor and Beneficiary or, in some cases, the Trustee(s) or Executor/Executrix can still sit together and discuss a Grantors wishes and concerns. To accomplish this, I recommend the following:
1. Contact a mutual third-party such as a financial planner, attorney, accountant, etc. who can mediate between all parties towards any future arrangement.
2. Consider the aspirations and desires of the Grantor (or person(s) leaving the inheritance) and make certain to include them in any legally binding agreement that is recommended by your financial or legal professional.
3. Attempt to discover all potential wealth transfer assets and in whose name and possession they might currently be held. We consider this “taking inventory,” and it is a critical step if any type of trust document is recommended. One reason being that for a trust to be a viable estate administration tool, it must contain (and control) assets that are either titled to it or stipulated as an asset being retitled to the trust. Believe me, there are many war stories about unfunded trust having to be decided by courts ultimately as certain jurisdictions do not see the trust document has having any legal force. Instead, the estate may be subject to Probate.
4. Since today’s technology can provide a means to record and permanently document anyone’s estate or even their Last Will and Testament, I would strongly recommend you consider this strategy. Kept in the hands of a legal professional or any other place where it will remain secure and protected against—possibly even in today’s Internet based storage clouds, could prove useful. That is, of course, only possible if a second copy is stored with your legal advisor.
5. Once all interest have been codified and any necessary paperwork has been developed, signed and secured, then and only then can you begin to schedule meetings to periodically review the estate plans made and make any adjustments required by the grantor(s), your legal advisor or changes in the law relating to estate accumulation, transfer and distribution.
Willie Thomas Butler is Founder and President of Kingdom Seed Foundation (KSF) and The Life Planning Institute (LPI), in Norfolk, Virginia. Butler is Director of Financial Planning with Heritage Wealth Management Group in Norfolk, VA. He is a 25 year financial planning and investment adviser and author of several books available in online bookstores, such as Google and Amazon Books, and creator of The Kingdom Life Approach Ten-Week Course. For more information, please visit www.MyLPI.org. Also, for practical insights in Biblical Stewardship and wealth management strategies, please visit our other blog titled LifePlanning Institute at Blog.MyLPI.org
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