by Marty Chiu

Planning for the future is not an easy task. It takes persistence, patience and a forward-looking perspective. When planning for the success of your family, there are three elements that separate successful families from the rest, and of these, the third one is the most overlooked.

The first element is familiar to many people: Financial Planning– this prepares and protects a family’s assets during their lifetime. The second element, Estate Planning, prepares the remaining assets to be transferred to the family. The third element is what we consider to be the cornerstone of a successful family: Heritage Planning.

While Financial and Estate Planning prepares the inheritance for the family, Heritage Planning is a process that prepares the family for their inheritance. This includes not only the financial inheritance, but the emotional inheritance as well. The emotional inheritance gives a foundation and structure to be passed onto the heirs transferring the values and life lessons throughout multiple generations.

The 90-10 Rule
You may have heard that 90% of a family’s wealth is gone by the third generation. This phenomenon has been proven throughout the world. Over 2,000 years ago, a Chinese scholar penned the adage “Fù bùguò sāndài,” translated to “wealth never survives three generations.” In the 13th century, the English coined “Clogs to clogs in three generations,” and in the 19th century, Americans created the phrase “from shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.” It is not enough to merely hand over familial leadership and wealth. Everyone in the family must be prepared to receive and actively participate in the values and traditions that make up the backbone of the family’s success.

If 90% of families fail to keep their wealth and unity together across generations, what do the ‘successful’ 10% do differently?

They prepare the family to receive their inheritance. Leading a successful family and leaving a strong legacy requires several elements. If you are curious about the specific elements successful families incorporate to prepare their families for their inheritance, please contact us for more information.

You may have prepared your wealth for your family, but have you prepared your family for your wealth? If not, do it now. Sometimes “later” becomes “never.”

Marty Chiu is the founder of VantaQuest (phone: 562-598-7800, email: He educates, coaches, and counsels clients to live their life’s best outcome by aligning their wealth with purpose to create harmony in life. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration on finance-investments at CSULB, a Certificate in Financial Planning at Southern States University, he is a Certified Wealth Consultant at The Heritage Institute, and a Registered Principal with United Planners. VantaQuest and United Planners are not affiliated.

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