What is Intergenerational Wealth Transfer?

We spend a lifetime generating wealth and assets, and it is therefore important to ensure that we pass wealth on to our next generation and beyond. The passing of wealth from one family generation to the next is known as intergenerational wealth transfer.
Here in the Middle East, it is becoming more important than ever to consider succession and legacy planning as part of your financial planning strategy. Majority of wealth created here in Dubai has been generated over the past 40-50 years, in its masses. With the Islamic Waqf System in place, and generally, most people in the UAE are not making a will, because the principles of Sharia, it is important to be specific with where your wealth will go after your death.
It’s becoming increasingly important for more people to consider intergenerational wealth transfer as part of their financial planning strategy. With talking about death being a taboo subject among many families here in the Middle East. Below we explore some of your options.
Intergenerational wealth transfer can be a huge issue for all family members concerned. If done well and executed properly, it can make a real difference to the financial position of the recipients. If misjudged or poorly handled, it can cause enormous issues, conflicts and resentments never forgotten nor forgiven.

Financial implications of Intergenerational Wealth Transfers

One aspect that should be thoroughly considered is the impact on family members, particularly the next generation, as parents think about selling up or passing down a business and entering retirement.
It is important that children are prepared to deal with this process, not least, so they know how they may be affected and what they may expect. For instance, children may expect to receive a certain amount of money from their parents – particularly those selling a business – and end up disappointed, or may not feel responsible enough to take over a business.
Conversely, they may not expect anything, and therefore are not equipped to deal with a substantial windfall. Transparency is the key to generational wealth.

Contributory factors of intergenerational wealth transfer management

For those approaching, or in, retirement, it’s important to have frank and open conversations with children about expectations, whether children have the knowledge and understanding to manage financial matters, and how they feel about inheriting a business and/or wealth.

How to deal with approaching retirement

Many families experience a jaw-drop moment when their children are exposed to what their parents have achieved financially. Many want to learn from their parents to be in the same position as them in the future. Although, it is important to remember that we work our whole lives to provide the best for our family and leave behind our legacy.
Although you should not feel your family is solely dependent on you for their financial situation. It is important to teach your children work ethic, and not simply let them believe they can fall back on the bank of mum and dad. After all, it’s called legacy planning, with the idea of leaving behind a long-lasting legacy of wealth to last your family generations to come.

Expressing financial wishes

The best approach to help your children establish a strong financial foundation to prepare them for intergenerational wealth transfer is to introduce them to your professional advisers as soon as they reach early adulthood. This can give them comfort knowing that they have someone to turn to for financial advice, and piece of mind someone is there to support their finances with their best interest at heart, should you no longer be around. Open communication and expressing your goals will also ensure your family is on the same path to success. This can also squash the possibilities of conflict when managing intergenerational wealth after your passing. Some questions you should ask yourself before starting the intergenerational wealth transfer planning process include:
  • When did wealth enter your life, and how do you imagine this timing influences your values and family relationships?
  • What impact does affluence have on your life and the lives of your next generation?

  • What was the key to success in creating wealth, and how might telling this story to your future generation be helpful?

  • What is your biggest concern in raising your children or grandchildren with affluence?

  • What conversations (if any) did you have with your parents about money and wealth growing up?

  • How did your parents prepare you to receive wealth, if you did?

  • What lessons did you learn from your parents about money and finances you would like to pass on to your heirs?

  • What family values would you like to pass down to the next generation, and how do you plan to communicate this family legacy?

  • What concerns do you have about your adult children when it comes to inheriting and managing family wealth?

  • How can you help prepare your beneficiaries to receive wealth and carry on your family legacy?

The passing of wealth between generations

Many children who are set for vast sums of inheritance can end up becoming over-reliant on their expected windfall. It is important to get the younger generations involved in your business and finances. Teach them how to handle the wealth and responsibilities they will inherit, as well as equip them with advice and professionals who can help them to make wise decisions about the wealth they generate themselves, when you’re no longer here.
GSB Capital are a multi-family office whose role is to meet the investment, estate planning and lifestyle service needs of high net worth individuals and their entire family. We offer comprehensive global wealth management and financial guardianship tailored to each individual client’s needs.
At the heart of our private client offering is the understanding that our high net-worth clients each have unique set of motivations and objectives. For this reason, we ensure that advice is tailored to your specific needs. We offer bespoke solutions that fit your lifestyle, family, business and personal interests. This approach allows us to shape your plans and protect your wealth for generations to come. You can book a meeting with one of our advisors by clicking here.