One of the subjects that Dad and I didn’t need to talk have a talk about as he approached his passing at age 85 was handling the inheritance.
There wasn’t any.
Dad had Social Security and some veterans benefits. But after a lifetime of hard work there wasn’t anything in the way of savings or investments.
Like millions of working class Americans, he left the world leaving pretty much nothing behind in the way of money or possessions.
It made his final years stressful, to say the least.
It is a common story.
That is why when state legislators threaten to take away pension benefits that were promised to those who are depending on those benefits, as Illinois senators did last week, it is really shitty.
Someone wrote me last week complaining that all I do is talk about the problems of pensioneers (sic).
I don’t. But it wouldn’t be wrong if I did.
Then there are the wealthy.
The New York Times runs a column called Wealth Matters.
And it sure does.
This morning, writer Paul Sullivan addresses the issue of how those with over $20 million dollars in assets address the inheritance issue with their offspring.
Hey. It’s really hard for them.
Two-thirds of the 57 people polled by Wilmington Trust, a bank founded by the du Pont family in the early 20th century and now owned by M&T Bank, said they were “apprehensive about sharing inheritance details.” All participants had a net worth of more than $20 million, and only a tenth of them said they had given complete information about inheritance to their heirs — apparently for fear of dampening their work ethic.
Absolutely. You don’t want your kids laying on the couch all day watching Judge Judy when they will have $20 mil coming soon.
You gotta have the talk, people!
Joel Treisman, a family wealth coach who leads a monthly group for Tiger 21, an investment club for people with more than $10 million, said he had been left to surmise his family’s wealth on his own. He is a descendant of the Cullman family, whose wealth came from Philip Morris tobacco, and also the Lehman banking family.
“Despite a Stanford degree and a Yale M.B.A. with all these financial management courses, I was totally unprepared to be an inheritor — and that was in my 40s,” Mr. Treisman said. “There was no family preparation. It was delegated to the family trust-and-estate lawyer to send me a letter on my 21st birthday to talk to me about wealth that was going to revert to me outright.”
I just want to say, “Me too.” I was totally unprepared to be an inheritor.
As it turns out, I didn’t need to spend any money on a family wealth coach.