• Trustees Private Wealth

Apr 5, 2022

Case Study: The Great Wealth Transfer

Millennials are banking on the Great Wealth Transfer. The Silent Generation and the Baby Boomers, upon their death, will transfer an estimated $30 to $68 trillion to adult children.


It struck me the other day that media and researchers tend to add the word “Great” to a headline to bring our attention to an event. Take The Great Resignation for example which has been a trending topic in the media.

The Great Wealth Transfer has been a popular topic of discussion for quite some time and has been underway for several years. It signifies the largest transfer of intergeneration wealth the world has seen. In Private Wealth, we often talk to our clients about the issues that comes with intergenerational wealth, and we are regularly surprised when clients comment that this isn’t something they think applies to themselves or their own families.

By way of an example of a typical situation that relates to wealth transfer and how Trustees Executors has been able to help with some of the challenges clients have faced, see the case study below.

Intergenerational Wealth Case Study  Harry and Mary Smith

Harry and Mary have worked hard all their life. Harry turns 87 this year, and Mary isn’t far behind, turning 82 later in the year.  They have a great life in Taranaki, and they are active members of their community. Harry is a founding member of their local community-based Men’s Shed group and Mary has rescued ill-treated animals for many years and re-homing them when they are well enough. They see their continuing support for the community over the years as their greatest achievement.

They have three children:

  1. Charles, their eldest is 56. He took over the family farm back in the early 80’s and he has been running the farm with his own family for many years.
  2. Sally, their daughter is now 50. She is living in a shared home run by IDEA Services. Sally was diagnosed with a rare physical disorder early in her life, but this hasn’t stopped her from living her life. She likes to give back to the people in her life.
  3. Brian, their youngest, is 48 and is a very successful litigator. He moved back to Taranaki in recent years setting up his own firm. Brian’s wife is a well-known artist and together they have two younger children who are enjoying growing up close to family.

How have we been involved?

Prior to and after Harry’s and Mary’s retirement,  we established several important asset and succession planning tools to protect them and their children.


In the 90s, we created a will for each of Harry and Mary which sets out how their wealth is to be distributed to their children and grandchildren after they both pass away. The couple have done well by making sure they update their Wills regularly to take into account the ever-changing family dynamics (new grandchildren, properties, investments).

Harry and Mary have also left bequests in their Wills to the charities and organisations that are special to them to signify their lifetime passion for helping others.

Whilst you have the freedom to choose who you wish to give your assets to upon your death in your Will, we encourage that you think about your children, grandchildren and other people who you may have a moral obligation to provide for. For example, do any of them need special care of funds for further education? Are some more dependent than others?  

Family Trust

Several years ago, we recommended Harry and Mary set up their Family Trust. The beneficiaries of the Family Trust are Harry and Mary, their three children and grandchildren. The farm was settled on the Family Trust to protect it against possible claims against their estates upon their death. Family financial investments were also settled in the Family Trust.

As part of the Family Trust formation, we encouraged Harry and Mary as settlors of the Family Trust to prepare a Memorandum of Wishes to give the trustees direction as to how the trust fund should be dealt with. The Memorandum of Wishes provides direction as to who they wish the farm will go to on the final distribution of the Trust and what shares each of their children will get from the trust fund. Our Trust Managers are experienced in providing Trust formation advice so talk to us today.  

Agency Services

How did we help protect Sally given her long term disabilities?

We set up an Agency account for Sally, ensuring the smooth operation of funds flowing for her everyday needs. After the passing of her parents, more funds will flow to her account through the funds that are due to her from distributions from the Trust and Estate of her parents. Ask us about providing for the less capable members of your family.

Planning and Clear Communication

Discussing, planning and using the tools as described above, are extremely important. The above example showcases just some of the ways we can help preserve your wealth for future generations. At Trustees Executors, we analyse various family issues and wishes meticulously, through an open dialogue with you. Talk to us if you would like to discuss your wealth and how you can pass it on to your loved ones to secure their financial futures.


Kelley O’Dwyer
National Business Development & Services Manager

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