Will your legacy help your loved ones reach financial freedom?
Mariska Comins, Head of Technical Support, PSG Wealth.
South Africa is famous for its diversity and rich heritage, but what does heritage really mean?
Heritage means different things to different people. Cultural heritage involves understanding tangible and intangible heritage assets from past generations and passing them on to the next generation. It also includes learning from past generations and making improvements for future generations.
One way we can make such improvements is to ensure that our financial legacy will help our beneficiaries reach their financial freedom. This means taking time to plan and structure our estates in such a way that the outcome will ensure our beneficiaries are well looked after once we have passed away.
We cannot ‘rule from the grave’, but we can structure our estates in a way that will benefit our dependants – and possibly their dependants too.
Looking at our children, nieces, and nephews, we are often reminded how important it is to ensure that they have every opportunity to pursue their dreams. One way to provide them with these opportunities is by passing on the resources, skills, experience, and love that will remind them that their wildest dreams are possible.
In essence, we want to transfer our wealth to them – allowing them to have the freedom to choose their own path in life and achieve great success. We want them to live by example and continue the legacy by providing for their next generation.
Understanding intergenerational wealth
Wealth has traditionally been passed from one generation to the next upon death. Intergenerational wealth refers to assets passed by one generation of a family to the next, and how families use their collective wealth to support each other during their lifetimes. It considers how families can use their wealth collaboratively to support each other during their lifetimes.
These structures offer opportunities for estate planning to assist with the ever-increasing financial burden of everyday life. A rising life expectancy and social change means many families need to reconsider whether their wealth can work harder for the benefit of their entire family. In addition, there may be further complexities if families are dispersed around the globe.
Estate planning – it starts with a will, but it doesn’t end there
Effective estate planning is not as simple as drawing up a will and expecting all the different elements to fall into place. To ensure a smooth transition of a family legacy, a family needs to consider several key matters. Preserving family wealth is, for example, significantly impacted by the countries in which the family members reside, and the jurisdiction in which their assets are situated. This must be taken into account when drafting a will.
Families not only need to choose wisely from the array of investment options available, but also need to astutely navigate a plethora of regulations to preserve, grow and transfer their wealth in the most efficient manner possible. A lack of strategic planning – mainly around succession planning – is one of the main reasons that wealth often does not make it to the third generation.
Families who start the conversion early are the ones who successfully transfer assets to multiple generations. It is time to think about your family’s financial strategy – there’s no better time than the present to contact a financial adviser and perhaps set your family on the path to future financial freedom.