gies to the beneficiaries.
The attorney must be care-
ful so as to avoid offending
a beneficiary (or worse,
Trust stating something similar
to the following:
It is the desire of the Trustors that
each child act in a financially responsi-
ble manner regarding any distributions
received from this Trust. To that end,
the Trustors recommend that each
child consult with a reputable financial
1. Cam Marston, Great Wealth Transfer Will Be $30 Trillion—
Yes That’s Trillion With a T, CNBC.com (July 22, 2014),
30-trillionyes-thats-trillion-with-a-t.html (article cites research
conducted by Accenture).
2. Jay L. Zagorsky, Do People Save or Spend Their Inheritances?
Understanding What Happens to Inherited Wealth, JOURNAL OF
FAMILY AND ECONOMIC ISSUES 34: 64-76, 68 (2013).
3. John Aldan Byrne, The Greatest Wealth Transfer in Human
History Is Coming, NYPost.com (June 22, 2014), http://
4. John J. Havens & Paul G. Schervish, A Golden Age of Philanthropy Still Beckons: National Wealth Transfer and Potential
Philanthropy Technical Report, CENTER ON WEALTH AND
PHILANTHROPY, 21-22 (May 28, 2014).
7. See generally Zagorsky, supra note 2.
8. Id. at 74.
9. Judy Martel, Planning for Inheritance: 4 Ways To Handle A
Windfall, Forbes.com (Nov. 6, 2015), www.forbes.com/sites/
10. See Zagorsky, supra note 2, at 71.
11. Id. at 72.
12. Ashlea Ebeling, Americans Lack Basic Estate Plans, Forbes.com
(March 1, 2010), www.forbes.com/2010/03/01/estate-tax-
13. Richard Eisenberg, Americans’ Ostrich Approach to Estate
Planning, Forbes.com (April 9, 2013), www.forbes.com/sites/
14. NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health, Teen Brains: Still
Under Construction, NewInHealth.NIH.gov (September 2005),
01features_02.htm; see also Sarah Knapton, True Adulthood
Doesn’t Begin Until Age 25, Telegraph.co.uk (Feb. 15, 2015),
15. S. Agarwal, J. Driscoll, X. Gabaix, & D. Laibson, The Age of
Reason: Financial Decisions over the Life-Cycle and Implications
for Regulation, BROOKINGS PAPERS ON ECONOMIC ACTIVITY 2009;
2009( 2):51-117, 51. (Studies based on “life-cycle patterns in
financial mistakes using a proprietary database with information
on 10 types of credit transactions.”)
16. George M. Korniotis & Alok Kumar, Do Older Investors Make
Better Investment Decisions? MIT REVIEW OF ECONOMICS AND
STATISTICS (February 2011), Vol. 93, No. 1, 244-265, page 3
of PDF download of http://ssrn.com/abstract=767125.
17. Agarwal et al., supra note 15, at 51.
18. Deborah L. Jacobs, Estate Planning as a Family Conversation,
N.Y. TIMES (March 4, 2010) and NYtimes.com (March 3, 2010),
(“Families that speak freely about estate planning can sometimes
address awkward situations that might arise, like the choice of
the executor … or succession plans for a family business or the
leaving of assets in trust.”).
19. See Zagorsky, supra note 2, at 65.
21. Jacobs, supra note 18; see also Kelly Greene, When It’s Time to
Huddle, WSJ.com (May 10, 2010), www.wsj.com/articles/SB
recommendations on how to call and plan a family meeting).
adviser before making decisions involv-
Including such language presumably
will not be as effective as a family meeting,
for it may not provide the beneficiary suffi-
cient time to plan ahead or con-
template its importance. But it
at least is an active method that
clients could implement.
While attorneys have various
methods available to potentially
combat blown inheritances, none
can guarantee beneficiaries will
act wisely upon receiving the
windfall. However, when clients
become knowledgeable of the
statistics involved, and are advised
of the estate planning strategies
available, the likelihood of suc-
cess in preventing blown inheri-
tances appears to improve. The decision
will ultimately be one the client will make,
but whether or not the client chooses to
take an active role on the issue following
discussions with their attorney, the client
will be well informed on the topic.
When clients are advised of
the estate planning
strategies available, the
likelihood of success in