fbpx Skip to main navigation Skip to content

“Fairness cannot always be calculated with a calculator.”

If your estate was one large pile of cash, this might not apply to you. For most families though, your estate is made up of various assets, from businesses to real estate to heirlooms. You have to plan around assets that can’t easily be divided equally. How do you find a shared definition of fair?

In my own family of origin, my grandfather–one of my heroes–left an incredible legacy of generosity through his family business. Over the years, he employed nearly every member of the family in some capacity through three generations.

That said, he also didn’t initiate thoughtful conversations around any estate planning for those assets. Decades later, our family still hears the echoes of the conflict his estate process generated.

When your estate can’t be equally divided with a calculator, that wealth can unify or undermine your family’s relationships. If Gen 2 alignment is a priority, you must open the dialogue. You need to discover what expectations are framing the outcome. Ask questions like:

  1. Does Gen 2 even know what our estate looks like?
  2. What are Gen 2’s expectations for how the estate will be distributed?
  3. Are there any conflicting expectations that need a creative resolution?
  4. Are there any boundaries that need to be set on unhealthy expectations?

Conversations like these give you the best opportunity to create alignment in your family. We’ve had the honor of helping facilitate these conversations many times, and we welcome the opportunity to help you do the same.