Family Wealth Stewardship – Lifestyle Management, Legacy Planning, and Charitable Planning

Dear Valued Clients and Friends,

As a nation, it is estimated that $59 trillion of wealth will transfer from generation to generation by 2061. This massive transfer of wealth presents significant opportunities and challenges for grandparents, parents, heirs, and charities. Some of these opportunities include how to prepare the next generation for wealth, how much to transfer when, what are the appropriate estate and tax strategies, and how to make sure the family business thrives? As a holistic and comprehensive wealth management practice, not only do we help grow and protect client wealth, but we also help clients with family wealth management and legacy planning.  

Our Financial Concierge Services platform provides a framework for us to plan and implement strategies for investments, wills and trusts, retirement and income, real estate, risk management, tax and accounting, business, and family and lifestyle management. Within our family and lifestyle management services area, we have many offerings including financial oversight, bookkeeping, education, travel, air, yacht management, personal and cybersecurity, charitable planning, and numerous other family office services.

The Financierge – Issue #7

In this month’s issue, we focus on lifestyle management, legacy planning, and charitable planning.

  1. Is Your Lifestyle Balanced and in SHAPE?
  2. Four Components of a Family Wealth Legacy Plan
  3. Five Charitable Planning Ideas

Appendix – The Financierge Topical Index (by Publish Date)


“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” – Aristotle

Is Your Lifestyle Balanced and in SHAPE?

Living a balanced lifestyle leads to a more happy, healthy, and prosperous life. It’s important for us to not only help you grow and preserve wealth but to help you think about your total well-being and a greater perspective beyond wealth – what we call your SHAPE Strategy. Quite simply,  SHAPE is an acronym for Spiritual, Health, Assets, People, and Everything else. It represents five general areas of life where you should spend time and have a strategy to live a balanced lifestyle. Ultimately, your SHAPE Strategy defines your purpose and values, prioritizes your limited time and resources, and creates a map to accomplish what’s important in your life. Like any strategy, it requires an underlying planning process where you set goals in each area and implement specific action steps (your strategy) to help you achieve those goals. Below is a brief overview of five basic areas of life along with some examples of goals to help you create your personal SHAPE strategy.

Spiritual –The first area of SHAPE is spiritual related. This area includes your purpose, values, ethics, and faith. It may be religious or associated with a higher power, nature, art. Goals in this area may include spending time in prayer each morning, discovering your strengths and spiritual gifts, being in community at your place of worship, enjoying a nature walk at sunrise, or serving at a charity you are passionate about.

Health –The second area of SHAPE is health related. This area includes your physical fitness, nutrition, preventative healthcare, and in general, achieving a state of physical, mental and social wellness.  Goals in this area may include starting an exercise regiment, eating healthier, sleeping more soundly, improving your mental health, getting an annual physical, or reducing stress with a regular trip to the spa.

Assets –The third area of SHAPE is asset related. This area includes the stewardship of wealth and includes your income generation, financial planning, budgeting, tax, estate planning, real estate, investments, charitable planning, and risk management. It reflects the core of how we help you with our comprehensive wealth management. Goals in this area may include creating a monthly budget, building a retirement plan, buying a home, saving for college, selling a business, or donating to a charity. Ultimately, it means having a family, business, financial and philanthropic legacy plan.

People –The fourth area of SHAPE is people related. This area includes your relationship with others. In general, it considers the quality of the network of relationships in your life from family, to where you work, serve and play. Goals in this area may include spending time with family on a vacation, attending a marriage or parenting retreat, throwing a friend a birthday party, having lunch with a co-worker, spending time with your grandchildren, or establishing a weekly date night with your significant other.

Everything Else –The fifth area of SHAPE related to everything else and can include some areas like career, business, education, sports, hobbies, travel, and fun. Goals in this area may include starting a business, going to school, learning a new hobby, traveling, excelling in a sport, or doing something fun.

The amount of time you spend in each area is not as important as spending some time in each area. Ideally, you should write out your SHAPE Strategy, review it periodically with a trusted advisor or friend, update it as needed, and celebrate your successes along the way. Over time, you will optimize each area of your life and achieve greater life purpose, balance, and prosperity.


Four Components of a Wealth Legacy Plan


“Every family I have observed that is successfully preserving its wealth is a reflection of the five virtues of truth, beauty, goodness, community and compassion. Transcending all of these is its reflection of love . . . I am convinced that without this spiritual component, a family cannot succeed in preserving itself.”-  Jame E. Hughes, Jr.

We invest a lifetime into our families, businesses and wealth, yet throughout the world, it is common to see wealth lost within three generations. Oftentimes, the first generation creates the wealth, the second generation preserves it, and the third generation consumes it. The cause for this is a failure in proper planning and readiness of heirs to receive the wealth. Our goal is to help clients build multi-generational strategies to leave a lasting legacy. The following are four components of a family wealth legacy plan. 

Family Legacy – the first component of a legacy plan deals with family. It’s about a family’s history and culture, shared values, mission, and well-being. Cohesive families communicate their history and culture, create a family mission statement, implement governance, and begin to prepare heirs to receive wealth. One trend we see is that families are not only preparing to leave a legacy, but they are living a legacy now. Some examples include going on vacation together around a family planning meeting, writing a monthly blog with family stories and news, bringing in advisors for life and financial education, and preserving or starting family traditions.

Financial Legacy– the second component of a legacy plan is focused on integrated wealth planning. At the heart of leaving a financial legacy is a proper understanding of the needs and goals of each family along with a holistic and comprehensive financial plan.

Family Business Legacy– this third component of a legacy plan involves the family business. It’s where wealth originates for some families. Planning in this area helps to ensure the continuity and success of the business. Areas of consideration include business valuation, succession planning, tax planning, family involvement, and exit strategies for selling, merging or gifting the business.

Philanthropic Legacy –this fourth and final component of family wealth legacy plan is where the lasting contribution of the family resides – by giving back in a meaningful manner. Considerations in this area include developing a donor vision and mission statement, governance procedures, family roles and responsibilities, advisory boards, and a plan for succession.

Please reach out to let us help you develop a family wealth legacy plan to successfully live a legacy now, and also leave a legacy in the future.


“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

Five Charitable Planning Ideas

According to the Giving USA 2018: The Annual Report on Philanthropy, Americans gave over $400 billion to charity last year. Giving provides many emotional, psychological and financial advantages that include receiving tax benefits, helping others, passing values on to children, and just plain feeling good. Below are five charitable planning ideas for 2018.

Donate Long-Term Appreciated Assets Instead of Cash – One way to donate to a charity is with cash. While it might be the easiest, there may be other better ways to create a bigger donation and bigger tax benefit. If you donate long-term (assets held for at least a year), appreciated assets you generally get a full fair market value (FMV) deduction for your donation. You can also avoid capital gains by giving the donation directly to the charity. Examples of long-term appreciated assets include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, cash value life insurance, restricted stock, privately owned business stock, and real estate.

Donate to Reduce Taxes – Charitable donations made to a qualified charity are 100% tax deductible with certain limitations based on your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). You can deduct cash or short-term securities up to 50% of your AGI for public charities, and 30% for private foundations. For long-term, appreciated securities you can deduct up to 30% of your AGI for public charities and 20% of your AGI for private foundations. Charitable donations to a qualified charity can also be used to reduce your estate taxes. You can also reduce capital gains tax by donating long-term appreciated assets instead of selling them and donating after-tax proceeds.

Donate During Your Lifetime – There are two ways to provide charitable giving during your lifetime – using a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) or a private foundation. The benefit of a DAF is that it allows you to make an irrevocable contribution and get an immediate tax deduction within the constraints of your AGI, it supports charities now or over time, donations grow tax-free, and donations can be anonymous. DAFs are also expensive, controlled by the sponsoring charity, and can only be used for qualified charities. Private foundations are typically established with a significant gift and the foundation is managed by trustees. The benefits of a private foundation are that they can be managed by family members, a legacy can be established for multiple generations, and you can support more than just qualified charities. Private foundations require a substantial initial contribution, charitable deductions are limited to 30% AGI for cash and 20% AGI for long-term publicly traded appreciated securities, privately held stock or real estate may only be deductible at basis rather than FMV, they are complex and include annual filings and reporting, they require a 5% distribution of assets each year, and investment income is subject to a 1% to 2% excise tax.

Donate While Generating Income – There are two ways to provide charitable giving while generating income – using a charitable remainder trust (CRT) or a charitable lead trust (CLT). Both types of trusts split the assets between charitable and non-charitable beneficiaries. There are two main types of CRTs – a charitable remainder annuity trust (CRAT) and a charitable remainder unitrust (CRUT). A CRAT distributes a fixed annuity amount each year to a non-charitable beneficiary and additional contributions are not allowed. A CRUT distributes a fixed percentage based on the balance of the trust assets to a non-charitable beneficiary and additional contributions are allowed. With a CRT, distributions go to the non-charitable beneficiary, and at the end of the trust life, the remainder goes to the charity. The CLT work the opposite in that distributions go to the charity and the remainder goes to the non-charitable beneficiary.

Donate Through a Community Foundation – A community foundation is a charity that focuses on supporting a specific geography or cause. Community foundations offer donor-advised funds, endowments, scholarships, and other programs. Benefits include the ability to support your community better and you can participate in a variety of charitable programs. However, a community foundation support is limited to a specific area, different programs have varying levels of restrictions, and contributions and administrative fees are higher than a DAF but lower than a private foundation.

Contact your private wealth advisor to see what option may be best for your specific circumstance.


Thank you and we hope you enjoyed some of our perspectives on lifestyle management, legacy planning, and charitable planning. Please reach out to any of us with questions or comments, or if there is anything we can do to serve you. Have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving.

Warm and best regards,

Don B. Saulic, CFP® CPA

Partner, Private Wealth Management


Appendix – The Financierge Topical Index (by Publish Date)

Business Planning

Business Entity Structures and New Tax Law Considerations (Aug 20, 2018)
Five Charitable Planning Perspectives to Know Before You Sell Your Business (Aug 20, 2018)
Two Estate Planning Tips for Your Businesses (Aug 20, 2018)
Four Strategies to Preserve Your Business’ Future (Aug 20, 2018)

College Planning
Five Ideas about 529 College Savings Plans (Nov 2, 2017)

Charitable Planning
Twelve Charitable Planning Ideas to Reduce Income Taxes in 2018 (Feb 14, 2018)
Five Charitable Planning Ideas (Nov 20, 2018)

Estate Planning
Five Annual Estate Planning Tasks (Nov 2, 2017)
Four Components of a Wealth Legacy Plan (Nov 20, 2018)


Investment Planning
Dividend Stock Investing (Feb 14, 2018)

Lifestyle Planning
Six Items to Keep in Your Vault (Nov 16, 2017)
Twelve Proactive Tips to Fight Identity Theft (Nov 16, 2017)
Twelve Ideas to Guard Your Family in a Digital World (Nov 16, 2017)
Is Your Lifestyle Balanced and in SHAPE? (Nov 20, 2018)

Real Estate Planning
Four Points to Ponder Before Buying or Leasing a Home (Jun 22, 2018)
Six Considerations About Mortgages, Refinancing and Taxes (Jun 22, 2018)
Five Elements of Reverse Mortgages (Jun 22, 2018)
Four Perspectives to Consider in Deciding to Move to a State with Lower Taxes (Jun 22, 2018)

Risk Management and Insurance Planning

Starting Social Security Benefits – Ready, Set, Hold!? (Nov 2, 2017)
Nine Considerations to Maximize Social Security Benefits (Nov 2, 2017)
Lifestyles of the Affluent and Exposed (Nov 16, 2017)
Eight Benefits of Health Savings Accounts (Mar 16, 2018)
Seven Ideas for Life Insurance (Mar 16, 2018)
Six Considerations About Long-Term Care Insurance (Mar 16, 2018)

Retirement Planning

Starting Social Security Benefits – Ready, Set, Hold!? (Nov 2, 2017)
Ten Things to Know About IRAs and Saving for Retirement (Feb 14, 2018)

Tax Planning
Twenty New Tax Reform Bill Changes (Feb 14, 2018)



The Bahnsen Group is registered with HighTower Securities, LLC, member FINRA and SIPC, and with HighTower Advisors, LLC, a registered investment advisor with the SEC. Securities are offered through HighTower Securities, LLC; advisory services are offered through HighTower Advisors, LLC.

This is not an offer to buy or sell securities. No investment process is free of risk, and there is no guarantee that the investment process or the investment opportunities referenced herein will be profitable. Past performance is not indicative of current or future performance and is not a guarantee. The investment opportunities referenced herein may not be suitable for all investors.

All data and information reference herein are from sources believed to be reliable. Any opinions, news, research, analyses, prices, or other information contained in this research is provided as general market commentary, it does not constitute investment advice. The team and HighTower shall not in any way be liable for claims, and make no expressed or implied representations or warranties as to the accuracy or completeness of the data and other information, or for statements or errors contained in or omissions from the obtained data and information referenced herein. The data and information are provided as of the date referenced. Such data and information are subject to change without notice.

Third-party links and references are provided solely to share social, cultural and educational information. Any reference in this post to any person, or organization, or activities, products, or services related to such person or organization, or any linkages from this post to the web site of another party, do not constitute or imply the endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of The Bahnsen Group or Hightower Advisors, LLC, or any of its affiliates, employees or contractors acting on their behalf. Hightower Advisors, LLC, do not guarantee the accuracy or safety of any linked site.

This document was created for informational purposes only; the opinions expressed are solely those of the team and do not represent those of HighTower Advisors, LLC, or any of its affiliates.

About the Author

Don B. Saulic

Managing Director, Partner

Don is a Partner in the team’s Private Wealth Management practice specializing in helping affluent families develop comprehensive strategies for all phases of wealth accumulation, preservation, and transfer.

He also leads our Financial Concierge Services platform of professional alliances and serves as the editor of The Financierge.

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