A multi-generational affair
Anne and Rob started working with Aspiriant’s Exclusive Family Office team as Rob was getting ready to retire from a large public company after a long career as a senior executive. Though the family had accumulated an estate worth over $100 million, 70% of their wealth was concentrated in one stock and they had never carved out time to create a meaningful estate plan and they had yet to execute on charitable giving goals that were very important to them. On top of it all, they also had concerns around how their wealth would impact future generations.
First, our Exclusive Family Office team worked with Anne and Rob to put a long-term wealth plan in place to quantify the amount they could comfortably earmark for family and charity. Next, we developed a globally diversified portfolio in accordance with the couple’s long-term goals and values. Then, we turned our attention to creating an estate plan to support Rob and Anne’s goals of transferring assets to future generations and philanthropic planning.
While Rob and Anne were intellectually prepared to implement tax efficient estate planning strategies, it took some time for them to become emotionally comfortable with the idea of transferring the wealth they had worked so hard to accumulate.
In response, we started the estate planning process simply and only grew to sophisticated strategies over time. We encouraged the couple to make annual exclusion gifts to their children and grandchildren, without touching their lifetime gift-tax exemption. Next, we helped incorporate more powerful tools for tax savings into the couple’s strategy, including Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts, a Family Limited Partnership and a sale to a Defective Grantor Trust. Finally, to accomplish their philanthropic goals we established a Donor Advised Fund and contributed some of the concentrated stock Rob had accumulated to optimize the tax savings associated with the significant gift.
With their comprehensive wealth plan in place, Anne and Rob were eager to bring their adult children into the conversation. While they knew the time was right to bring the kids into the fold, they found it difficult to convey the essence of the legacy they wanted to create and so they turned to Aspiriant to help facilitate these important discussions. Our initial meeting with the children evolved into an ongoing relationship with multiple members of the next generation. In addition to discussing the level of family wealth during our meetings, we focus on the purpose of the wealth, the importance around being a responsible steward of the wealth, the “why” behind the various strategies that have been implemented and how the wealth can be used as a tool for positive impact during their lives.
Developing a relationship with the extended family was the cherry on top of a successful partnership between Aspiriant and Anne and Rob. Knowing that an integrated, well thought out plan that aligned with their goals and values had been put in place, we hope Anne and Rob felt a great sense of gratitude and relief. The work they had wanted to do for years was now being tended to on an ongoing basis and we believe a weight had been lifted.
Important Disclaimer: This case study is presented as a hypothetical scenario and is intended for illustrative purposes only. It does not represent a specific client’s experience, but rather is meant to provide an example of Aspiriant’s process and methodology. An individual’s experience may vary based on his or her individual circumstances. There can be no assurance that similar results would be achieved in comparable situations. No portion of this case study is to be interpreted as a testimonial or endorsement of Aspiriant, and there is no way to ascertain whether a specific client would have been satisfied with their results.