Finance, Retirement planning, Saving, Spending

Picking a financial steward in the age of blended families

financial steward to trust

Keys to the castle

You know what keeps me up at night? Not if I’m going to run out of money or not. I’m pretty sure I have that covered.
What keeps me up at night is who will manage and inherit my money if I weren’t here.  In short, how can I pick a financial steward?

The default person will obviously be my wife, but realistically, it’s not something she gets “joy” from or really has an interest in spending too much time on.

Disbursement of family

Ever since we decided to move to New York City on our own, with no extended family living here, we’ve been somewhat removed from the daily lives of relatives. We’ve found that those types of moves and disbursements of people have become more common. Even though we both have extensive family members in siblings and their kids, we’re not particularly close to any of these people either.
What I’ve found out over time, is that people get their own lives, and others don’t seem to be willing to make sacrifices in your interest.

Now that both our parents are gone, the amount of contact time with other relatives is even less. Parents create a common anchor for siblings and other relatives. I consider most of these people “drop-in” guests. They might stop in to see you, if it happens to be convenient for them, but they’re not going to go out of their way to stay in touch. Even with the advent of Facebook and other tools, I still feel no more physically connected to immediate family members. Actually, this short piece I did after a visit from my Nephew should provide some insight into the way many individuals act today.

The “New” family

Being 100 miles away from our closest relatives, I’ve started to view my neighbors and our few closest friends as my new, real family.

However, that still hasn’t revealed a candidate that fits my criteria for a possible financial steward:

1. I must like and trust the person.
2. They must be 15 to 20 years younger than me.

Actually, that’s pretty much it. I have a couple people in mind for this, but filling both criteria is the difficult part.

For most people that have children, the default steward, after their spouse, is obviously going to be their kids. For those with no kids, but few assets, it probably isn’t something they really worry about.

However, for those with assets but no immediate children, I think this will be a growing worry, and might possibly spawn an increase in trust funds and other similar legal arrangements.

Creating this post has yielded this book on “Who you can trust if you’re super-rich“.  While I don’t consider myself super-rich, I will be leaving a substantial amount after I’m gone.

Two of the goals of this blog are for me to share and grow.  I’m thinking that just happened.

Do you have a small “circle of trust” that you can count on?

 

  • Hi Jim,
    All good questions and one that also is pertinent for those with children or siblings that have become estranged. So many issues to explore and that’s why it’s critical you and I find the solutions!

    • Thanks for commenting Kristen. I totally agree, estranged family members are a big component in this. I appreciate your insight. Financial planning, just like life is a marathon, not a sprint. 🙂