Who Will Benefit From Your Wealth And Wisdom?
Pictured (left to right): John Chisholm (SB Partners LLP), Wendy Rinella (Oakville Community Foundation), Dr. Tom Deans, Drew Redden (Oakville Chamber of Commerce) and John Platt (Manitou Investment)
‘What does the endless anger produced by adversarial estate litigation cost families? A hint — it’s something more valuable than money’, says Tom Deans.
This is just one of the thought provoking comments raised by our keynote speaker Tom Deans, during our partnership presentation with The Oakville Chamber of Commerce for our joint event, Breakfast with Dr. Tom Deans. The event provided an opportunity to educate the community on intergenerational wealth and succession planning, allowing residents to make well-informed decisions regarding family matters, financial management, and the longevity of their family assets.
On March 6th, Dr. Tom Deans engaged a breakfast audience of 170 people on the normally dry topics of estate and business planning. As the author of two best-sellers, “Every Family’s Business” and “Willing Wisdom” he was able to share insights from his own family’s experience as business owners and inter-generational wealth transfer.
Basically his key message is that parents need to communicate their intentions to their children and children need to be able to discuss their preferences with their parents. These decisions should be made at family meetings with all members present so intentions are understood and the will is followed accordingly. Otherwise a parent’s desires including, health care decisions will not be known or heeded. Some situations he has seen arise include:
- Leaving children no guidance on medical end of life decisions, so children who do not know their parent’s intentions play the indecisive game of “Plug or Unplug” at the hospital.
- While one child who works for the family business is intended to run the company after their parent’s death, all of the children are willed equal shares of the company. So the business tanks as the other siblings want to sell their shares immediately and undermine the company’s financial integrity.
Dr. Deans shared his alarm at the lack of wills in Canada as unwilled estates fall to governments to distribute and tax the proceeds. Governments do not recognize a person’s conviction or interest such as giving to local charities. (Say through a Community Foundation!) Most people act under the misconceptions that if they talk about their death it will make it more likely. We all know it doesn’t. So let’s start those seemingly difficult conversations on estate and business succession planning that is important to our families as well as our local communities.
We are very thankful to all of our community partners who supported the breakfast including RBC, SB Partners, YMCA of Oakville, Canadian Association of Gift Planners Niagara Golden Horseshoe Chapter, Oakville Hospital Foundation, PwC and United Way Halton & Hamilton. With their support all attendees received an autographed copy of one of Dr. Deans’ books!
If you’d like to know more about planning, and how to avoid some of these issues, connect with our team.