Family Wealth Planning:
How to Be Prepared – PillarWM

The Complete Guide to What We Do

Generations who are uncertain about their economic future often rely on the wealth of their family to sustain their lifestyle. High net worth families tend to build generational family wealth by creating structures such as foundations or trusts to help transition the family’s wealth or shares to the next generation. Family wealth planning effectively ensures that your family is equipped to preserve and grow their inherited finances, while managing major family expenses. Families with individuals who have a high net worth of $10+ million in liquid assets can benefit from a professional financial advisor’s help. Our exclusive guide can help you hire a suitable advisor to meet your needs.

Succession planning, asset allocation, estate tax management and wealth management can require an experienced financial advisor to start productive conversations to help your financial desires align with those of your family. Financial advisors at Pillar Wealth Management are skilled in helping clients with $5 million to $500 million in liquid investment assets. You can schedule a free consultation with us to get started on preserving your family’s wealth.Having the assurance that your family’s financial future is secure can feel incredibly rewarding.

What Is Family Wealth Planning?

Accumulating, managing and preserving long-term financial wealth for your family in the present and for the future is known as family wealth planning. An effective family wealth plan aims to align your financial goals with your family’s best interest. Your individual value and your family’s collective value influence how you set and plan for long-term objectives. Communicating and making these decisions together by engaging in an open dialogue can help each of you comprehend the role and meaningfulness of wealth for a sustainable legacy.

Reaching out to an expert for advice can help you implement an effective plan for you and your loved ones. In particular, if you have high value assets of over $10 million in liquid investments, you need your family’s finances to be in the right hands. Our exclusive free guide can direct you towards selecting a reliable financial advisor.

Specialists allow you to engage in strategic planning, by discussing your long-term goals such as wealth transfer, legacy planning and charitable giving, and developing a plan to work towards them. You can reflect on the plan to make sure that it accurately represents your family’s values and objectives.Managing major expenses like college tuition and weddings requires anticipation and the participation of each family member so that they can understand financial responsibility and accountability.

Wealth management is a complex process which needs the unbiased perspective of a team of skilled specialists.Collaborating with wealth managers can combine the knowledge and expertise of various professionals to help you create investment strategies to protect your assets. Our hard cover book, The Art of Protecting Ultra-High Net Worth Portfolios and Estates – Strategies for Families Worth $25 Million To $500 Million, discuss how you can safeguard your wealth.Trusted advisors can help your family map out the future you envision.

family wealth planning

Legacy, Estate and Inheritance Planning

When it comes to family wealth, legacy planning, estate planning and inheritance are key terms which come to mind. They are similar in the sense that each pertains to planning for your family’s future finances, but each of these financial strategies is also specific to a certain financial aspect.

Legacy planning is the process of planning how you will bequeath your assets or property to your loved ones or next of kin after your death. It consists of more than just real estate or cash assets, it can include family values you would like to conveyto your heirs, for example, charitable giving. You can leave behind the legacy of supporting a certain family narrative that your future generations must uphold, or you can require them to continue funding a particular foundation or cause in your name.

Estate planning is almost synonymous to legacy planning, as it too centers around the aspect of planning the transfer of your wealth to your heirs. An ‘estate’ is typically associated with the wealthy, making it a term more often used for high net worth and ultra high net worth families. Simple or complex estate plans can be drafted based on your number of assets or the size of your estate. In addition to inheritance, estate planning can help you plan for unexpected incapacity and even be used for tax mitigation purposes. Our advisors are skilled in estate planning for high net worth and ultra high net worth investors. Get in touch for a consultation with one of our experts.

Inheritance itself is a financial term used to describe the assets passed down to an ascribed heir after someone’s death. These could include stocks, cash, bonds,automobiles, jewels, art, antiques or real estate properties. An inheritance plan is a part of the estate plan, and it more specifically defines which assets you would like to pass down to whom. The decisions of how you want to distribute your estate and who you choose as your heirs,are legally enforceable when you have a written inheritance plan. A simple last will and testament is signed to avoid family disputes and court hearings in regards to the distribution of estates. The estate plan can also designate an executor of the estate, and a legal guardian in the case of any minor children.

When Do You Need Family Wealth Planning?

A family wealth planning strategy should be in place regardless of your level of income. If you plan to continue accumulating wealth, a growing estate can become challenging to manage on your own. Seeking input from your loved ones about their financial aspirations can help set the foundation for a family wealth plan, but ultimately an external advisor is needed to ensure that it is followed through with.Our Ultimate Guide can help you look for the best advisor to secure your financial future.

High net worth and ultra high net worth families have constantly growing assets, which makes it more complex to manage their wealth. A wealth manager or financial advisor is crucial in this respect to make it easier for you and your family to communicate and cooperate to manage your assets. You can approach a family office, which is a financial institution driven to help your family in its financial management.

Planning family wealth makes sure that your hard-earned money is not squandered at the hands of your inheritors. Therefore, it also takes into consideration the importance of instilling values in your heirs to preserve your accomplishments, and guide them on financial responsibility and stewardship.

Family wealth planners can help you develop a shared sense of family purpose, which can motivate you and your future generations to use your wealth in a way that creates opportunities and supports their community. They can give you custom investment strategies to help you maintain your income level and profit margin even after you’re gone. Some of these investment strategies are discussed in our guide.

Family Wealth Management Services

Wealth planning requires an unbiased, third-party advisor to address this sensitive and complicated topic. Family wealth management services use their resources and expertise to provide you with opportunities to grow you family’s portfolio while mitigating any inter-family disputes. You can learn more about improving your portfolio in our Performance Guide.Here are a few things to consider before hiring family wealth planning services.

Hiring a lawyer to plan your legacy is not sufficient, as they may lack the knowledge and financial expertise to meet your needs. Specialists who are skilled in the estate planning of wealthy individuals can be found at family offices, and they can work alongside a team of financial advisors for your benefit.

A Single Family Office (SFO) is run by a team of expert financial advisors who are entrusted by the family to handle their financial aspects, legal affairs and tax management. They charge a higher fees to offer a more personalized service with a high level of control for your family.

Multifamily offices (MFO) are often opted for by ultra high net worth families who want customized financial, tax, and legal services. They can consist of financial institutions or professionals who provide more expertise in this particular field.

High net worth families have significant wealth which needs a family office with wide-ranging expertise to help them manage their wealth and formulate their future monetary aspirations.Wealth managers at Pillar Wealth Management have vast experience in managing the finances of high earners. Schedule a meeting if you’d like to have a chat with someone from our team.

How They Help

Financial management advisors, investment advisors, wealth managers – each cover the aspect of giving you financial advice. Hence, you may be questioning “How can family wealth planning help your family?”. Family wealth management services offer you insights customized to each family member’s personality with the goal to secure your wealth for the future.

  • Keeping the Family Conversation Going

Helping clients start family-focused conversations is key to planning an effective estate or legacy plan. Family wealth planners ensure the participation of their client’s family in discussions regarding wealth so that their client’s intentions are communicated clearly. Identifying personal values and goals helps the client be in sync with their family’s wishes. This makes each member understand and take responsibility for their individual role in the estate plan.

An open forum to present ideas and opinions prevents future conflicts. Your financial advisor will treat this discussion like a business meeting, starting by stating the objective of the meeting and aiming to come to a conclusion that is in the best interest of you and your family.

  • Preparing for the Plan

Effective family wealth planning uses details to outline financial aspects, such as which heir is set to receive how much inheritance. Are there potential conflicts in extended families or do the children need guidance on how allocate assets? Do you already have a previous legacy or estate plan in place? These are the questions that a financial advisor will seek to answer.

They may advise you to set up an allowance for your children to help them get accustomed to the responsibility that comes with high value assets. Additionally, reviewing your legacy plan in front of your heirs can serve as a reality check and start important conversations about the duties they will be expected to take on.

  • Suggesting customized strategies

To carry out an established family wealth plan, your advisor may suggest strategies to you and your family to fulfil your objectives. This includes health insurance, long-term care, and whether your family will be expected to cover your expenses in the event of any incapacitation. If you wish to help your heirs gradually become financially equipped to manage your estate, your planner may suggest annual or lifetime gifting strategies. This will allow a particular sum of money being transferred as inheritance at pre-determined intervals.

In the event of family businesses, a legal team can help the transition, either in terms of a being a stakeholder or resuming the responsibilities of overlooking the business itself. Planning for charitable initiatives can help carry on family goals and values.

  • Adjusting the plan with time

Family wealth planners will help ensure that you commit to an annual meeting where the plan will be reviewed and any concerns will be addressed. Ongoing support and communication is necessary to refine and reevaluate any changes in the roles or objectives of the family members.

Family discussions help to clarify family principles and risk investment profiles, which can help build a long-term family wealth strategy. Changes in circumstances can affect your financial standing and a family wealth plan helps you make alterations as needed.


You might be wondering, “How much net worth should you have to consider family wealth planning?”. While people of any financial background can benefit from legacy planning, people with high value assets should especially prioritize the security of their wealth. Family wealth planning is crucial for high net worth individuals, i.e., those who have over $10 million in assets, and ultra high net worth individuals, i.e., those with a value of over $30 million in assets. Wealth is volatile, and a proper plan can help you establish and nurture your legacy for generations to come.

As you begin working on your wealth plan, family dynamics and financial circumstances can result in you needing to adjust your plans accordingly. This makes family wealth planning an ongoing collaborative process. However, you can achieve this as long as you and your loved ones clearly articulate your desires and future objectives. At Pillar Wealth Management we cater to high net worth families with $5 million to $500 million in liquid investment assets. If you’d like our professional advice on how to start managing your family’s wealth, schedule a meeting with us today!