Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Friday, January 27, 2012

Avoiding the Third Generation Curse

FutureThroughout history, families have witnessed wealth accumulation in the first generation, wealth enjoyment in the second generation, and wealth loss in the third generation. The goal of the Heritage Institute, based in Portland, Oregon, is to help these families avoid this financial cycle and ensure that family wealth continues for numerous generations. The Institute focuses on strengthening family relationships, passing on personal values, and teaching heirs asset management techniques.

According to Rodney Zeeb, co-founder and chief executive officer of the Institute, family wealth tends to dissipate in the third generation because heirs are not prepared to deal with the inheritance or the emotional issues that accompany it. A recent study conducted by the Family Office Exchange, however, revealed that most families believe poor planning and investments, market fluctuations, and taxes are the biggest risks facing family wealth.

During a six to nine month process, the Institute helps families learns techniques and pointers on becoming a successful family. Part of the process involves family members meeting and exchanging stories and values with younger generations. Elders also work with younger generations one-on-one to help teach asset management skills. The family, as a whole, then sets up a family fund to help children learn to manage money.

See Colleen O’Dea, Beating The Midas Curse, Private Wealth Magazine (Jan. 2012).

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.


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