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When a couple signs on as a new client, who is considered the client? At Glassman Wealth Services we have the philosophy that the parents and children of our clients are also our clients.
Working with the entire family makes financial sense for everyone involved. It’s important to know what your financial advisor does in taking a holistic approach to working with the client’s entire family.
Children and parents rely on you for financial advice and support
Clients deserve to have guidance and resources to help family members who may come to them for help or financial support in the future.
For example, let’s consider a couple’s young daughter who, after graduating college, lands her first job. On her first day, she’ll receive a stack of benefits paperwork – 401(k), disability insurance, life insurance, tax withholding forms, etc. She’s never seen this type of paperwork before, so she goes to her parents for help. The reality is that her parents may not have the expertise to help with everything (or maybe it’s been a while since they did it themselves).
That’s when they typically loop in their financial advisor or tax professional.
The financial advisors at Glassman Wealth will work directly with our client’s children so they have an understanding of their 401(k) investment options, why saving for retirement is so important in the first place, and what type of insurance may be appropriate for them.
Clients spend thousands of dollars on attorney’s fees to make sure their wealth will transfer as intended to the next generation. However, the work doesn’t stop there: it’s often necessary to keep the conversation open and coordinate across multiple generations for effective estate planning.
Particularly for advanced estate planning strategies like a Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT), it’s important to educate the next generation about the purpose, strategy, and goals behind this money. According to TIME Magazine, about 70% of wealthy families lose their wealth by the second generation, so educating your children about responsible financial habits is more important than ever.
Clients in the “sandwich generation,” who have aging parents and kids of their own, are often called upon to support both generations in their financial decisions. For example, a client’s widowed mother may need to take her required minimum distribution (RMD) but doesn’t know how much to take. Or a parent with diminished mental capacity may need help from the children in managing the parent’s affairs.
It’s important that all generations of a client’s family benefit from working with a trusted advisor. Planning and educating multiple generations in advance can make a lot of financial conversations easier down the road.