People who successfully transfer wealth are people who talk about it.

Raymond James recently asked investors about how they’re planning for the future of their wealth. Near the very top of their list of priorities was creating accord among heirs – the kind of harmony only achieved by open, frequent communication.

87% of respondents said maintaining family harmony was a somewhat-to-extremely important element of their wealth transfer planning.

Another key facet of communication – transparency – was also at the forefront of their minds. 89% of respondents cited setting clear expectations for heirs as somewhat to extremely important.

However, understanding the value of communication and actually starting the wealth conversation are two different things. More than half of American adults don’t talk about their finances – 23% would rather talk about death.1 And the topic of wealth transfer can be especially fraught with multiple generations, personalities and abilities involved.

But overcoming the anxiety and starting the kind of comfortable dialogue around finances that can eventually lead to successful wealth transfer is easier than you think.

Start small

Discussions about monthly budgets or annual donations are a low-stakes way to broach the topic and work up to weightier wealth matters.

Be consistent

Making money a regular feature of family life can help heirs feel empowered and ensure changes are addressed as they arise.

Look for guidance

Resources designed to help you lead wealth transfer conversations are abundant, from how-to guides and checklists to long-form series.  

Bring in the professionals

Mapping out the future of your life’s work can feel overwhelming. Don’t be afraid to rely on the expertise of key advisors as you build your plan.

What else will impact your wealth’s forward progress?

Starting the conversation is one of the most important steps in the success of your wealth plan – but it’s just one. Explore the other key components of a solid intergenerational wealth plan below or go back to the beginning.

Raymond James does not provide tax or legal services. Please discuss these matters with the appropriate professional. There is no assurance any investment strategy will be successful. Investing involves risk including the possible loss of capital.

Based on a survey of 1,000 individuals with $500,000 or more in investable assets conducted in November 2022 by Raymond James.