Navigating wealth management deadlines and demands can be cumbersome, especially for high-net worth individuals balancing many investments, objectives and interested parties. Developing and adhering to a long-term plan will make the process easier. The following suggestions for developing a family wealth plan and yearly timetable should help you in this process.
Establishing a Long-term Wealth Plan
Whether you have a family wealth plan in place or are solidifying your long-term approach for the first time, the beginning of the year is an ideal time to assess your overall wealth situation and plan for your family’s future. Just as New Year’s resolutions fail because we find it difficult to change old habits, those financial goals often fall by the wayside as well. Most important for wealth planning is the execution – often called the “care and feeding” of the plans.
Proper management of wealth involves a host of tasks and responsibilities that can easily overwhelm day-to-day life. Investors and families must run what amounts to an increasingly complex business – they must be able to understand and integrate tax, legal and investment advice into a cohesive plan that addresses their current needs while protecting future generations. Often just identifying the right questions to ask can sometimes be an insurmountable first step.
We believe that establishing clear goals ensures the best results. The first step is to establish a clear long-term vision for you and your family and to approach the component parts or your wealth as a single, integrated whole. Organizing information, maintaining records and keeping track of the overall process can seem overwhelming but breaking into manageable, monthly tasks can put you back in charge of your financial affairs and ensure that your strategic plan for your wealth, your family and your legacy, are managed appropriately throughout the year.
While each family is different, the action items set forth below should allow you to create a calendar of activity for you and your advisors to follow throughout 2017.
A Wealth Management Timeline
In addition to the actions detailed below, we recommend that you regularly review your monthly, quarterly, and yearly financial statements. Monitoring your portfolios’ conformity to the desired asset allocation and tracking the performance of asset managers will help you achieve your financial goals.
Meeting with your financial advisor at least semi-annually, or more frequently if possible, will enable your advisors to best assist you in realizing your objectives. These meetings should supplement the suggested timeline here.
Also, many families find it helpful to convene an annual meeting with their family. Such a meeting is an occasion to review the overall strategy and to assess the impact of specific events that may have occurred during the year. These meetings can be an opportunity to communicate your financial strategy with family members and to evaluate the success or failure of the steps taken to date.