Striking the Right Balance When Giving to Family
Posted on April 10, 2017
The impulse to provide for children or other family members is almost universal. Nine out of 10 who participated in a recent survey by Merrill Lynch, said they planned to give the lion’s share of their wealth to family members. How to make your plans a reality may include thinking about taxes, the risks of giving versus the rewards and whether to pass along money during your lifetime or through your will.
How gifts will affect recipients is a particular concern. Many are concerned about passing along too much money and about their gifts having a negative impact on particular family members. Creating a successful giving plan requires first identifying your intention and then communicating with family members. It often takes an illness or a death in the family to get people talking. There is a danger to procrastinating, giving during your lifetime can be far less expensive than leaving an inheritance at death, when estate taxes kick in.
Consider these factors when exploring ways to make the most of your gifts.
- Make your values explicit. Explore attitudes about money. Include younger family members in discussions; this can help build financial literacy and their respect for what you have achieved.
- Assess each family member’s emotional maturity. A child with a history of irresponsible spending who receives an inheritance may grow more dependent, while an accountable, informed recipient is likely to become more independent.
- Define what you mean by fairness. Every family’s definition is different. But if the members of your family understand your thinking behind individual gifts—that you consider it equitable, for example, to put more money into an education fund for one child and into a “travel and experience” fund for another—it may help in avoiding future conflicts.
- Account for passion and purpose. Discussions with family members about realistic goals, planning and the future can help you decide how much support to provide. A daughter who follows her passions by pursuing an advanced degree or funding a successful nonprofit may need a different level of support than a child who has not yet found a defined purpose.
While these considerations may be helpful, keep in mind that there is no single “best” approach that will work for everyone. The right choices are the ones that align with what is most appropriate for your family.
For more information, contact The Menashe Morley Group in the Rancho Santa Fe office 858-381-8113.
The Menashe Morley Group, serving the community for over 30 years: David Menashe is a Senior Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor, Bruce Morley CRPC ® is a First Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor and John Naviaux CPWA ® is a Vice President and Wealth Management. Merrill Lynch makes available products and services offered by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (MLPF&S) and other subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation (BofA Corp.). Investment products: Are Not FDIC Insured, Are Not Bank Guaranteed, and May Lose Value. MLPF&S is a registered broker-dealer, Member SIPC and a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation. © 2017 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved. ARV5WLDR
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