Jeanne McMains is a tax attorney and an estate planner. She’s spent many years advising families about how to live well with wealth, and especially about how to pass it down.
Working for years during a time of Great Wealth Transfer, she’s seen that go well, and she’s seen it go terribly wrong.
What factors determine whether that process will go well or wrong?
“It boils down to people not pausing to wrestle with the foundational question of
what is the role of resources in our lives,” Jeanne says. If we don’t really start there, it’s going to permeate through all of our tax decisions and our estate-planning decisions.” It impacts parenting decisions as well.
We’re tricked into thinking that wealth is either going to be the hero of our kids’ life story, or it’s going to be the villain. But wealth is just the fuel in the engine. Families really need to pause and think about the role of resources in their family history and the role they want it to have.
We’re tricked into thinking that wealth is either going to be the hero of our kids’ life story, or it’s going to be the villain. But wealth is just the fuel in the engine.
Is it a bad idea to accumulate all the wealth you can and then push it all to your kids? Jeanne says it’s kind of like leaving your kids a Harley Davidson when you’ve never taught them to ride a bike. “For some kids, it’s gonna be a great journey, full of adventure and a lot of experiences.” For other kids, that’s just a death knell.”
Watch Bryan’s interview with Jeanne, and learn more about how you can answer questions about the role of wealth in your life and plan in a way that uses wealth creatively in ways that align with your values.