Working as a trust officer, in a prior career, involved doling out cash to the beneficiaries. As a result, I have stories of both war and peace about how generations of families operate. My least favorite story is of a dad who only wanted the best for his girls and left them money in trust to make sure his legacy could last throughout their lifetimes. Unfortunately, he didn’t have many conversations about legacy and family values with his daughters, and they were left feeling frustrated and jealous. Even though they each received a sizable sum, after his passing I remember being the referee on cases of toilet paper in the garage and every other possession he owned. To my knowledge, the girls never spoke to each other again. As a mother, this is the saddest outcome I can imagine.
One of my favorite stories is of grandparents who, instead of leaving it all for when they were gone, made a commitment to each of their grandkids to take them on an all-expenses paid trip anywhere in the world. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed their stories of the Galapagos Islands, the Great Wall of China, New Zealand, etc. (they have lots of grandkids). They are still living and enjoying their family, and I am sure that when their time is done, they will have left a legacy of togetherness for generations.
I think each parent has the power to hand their values to the next generation. Starting the conversation can be difficult for the parents and/or for the adult children. Those who are most successful in leaving their desired legacy are able to clearly express and demonstrate their priorities. We have excellent, compassionate and caring attorneys here in Anchorage who have facilitated many of these conversations and helped create the outcome for future generations. They have agreed to come together to tell their stories about family conversations.
Please join us for our next Empowered Women Smart Money series as Ann Bruner, Maribeth Conway, Susan Foley and Tonja Woelber relate their best ideas and stories of creating the legacy you want or understanding the legacy your parent(s) want. All this facilitated by Dr. Gwen Kennedy on September 28, 2016. Hope to see you there.
Laura Bruce, CFP®, ChFC®
Director, APCM Wealth Management for Individuals
There are a few seats left. If you would like to attend please contact Amber Frizzell at 646-3521 or firstname.lastname@example.org.