Keeping family wealth and relationships in good shape
The old saying “Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations” means family wealth that’s
built by the first generation is eroded or even destroyed by the third generation, which squanders
the assets it inherits through reckless spending, poor investment decisions and other mistakes.
The result: The family ends up back where it started, with the same amount of wealth (or less
than) it began with generations ago.
Unfortunately, it’s not just an adage.
We’ve seen this type of wealth destruction play out among many families—even those with
relatively modest amounts of wealth—whose members tend to have their own conflicting
agendas. They have (to varying degrees) different expectations, wants and preferences.
Moreover, there are commonly clashing perspectives on how best to manage and spend the
family wealth. There may be family-owned business interests, and different family members may
have differing ideas about the future of the company.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT: This article was published by the VFO Inner Circle, a global financial concierge
group working with affluent individuals and families and is distributed with its permission. Copyright
2020 by AES Nation, LLC.
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