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Building Life-Long, Multi-Generational Clients Through Meaningful Legacy Conversations



Statistics can be daunting, but this may be one of the toughest to take. Did you know that ninety-eight percent of children switch financial advisors once they have received their inheritance from their parents?¹  

This may be an appropriate moment for you to take the time to reflect on your own practice. Do you have a relationship with the next generation of your current client base? Will you be part of this statistic? Or will you be the one to break it? Our hope for you is the latter!

The truth is we all know that conversations about money with family can be very difficult. Whether it’s with elderly parents, adult children, young children or grandchildren the conversations are tough and in some families are completely taboo.

Further research shows us that fifty-five percent of adult children feel they haven’t had adequate conversations with their boomer parents about their financial situation.²

How can you help your clients facilitate these conversations with greater ease? Our suggestion is by becoming an “Intimate Advisor.”

Are You an Intimate Advisor?

Building “emotional intimacy” is truly a simple, yet powerful concept. Intimacy creates a genuine connection with your clients, which ignites greater productivity and deeper relationships. Becoming an Intimate Advisor ultimately will help you move your client relationships from merely satisfied, to loyal, multi-generational relationships.

The word intimate comes from the Latin word “intima,” signifying the deepest, most internal part of something. To be intimate with another is to be open and uncover ones’ most inner thoughts. This is exactly what is needed from you and with your best clients to create the mutual intimacy that leads to life-long relationships.

That is what is at stake! Do you believe that if you could create that openness with your clients you would have a tremendously better relationship with them?

Introduce Meaningful Legacy Conversations

A unique and profound way of building emotional intimacy with your clients is by introducing meaningful legacy conversations.

The statistics cited earlier indicate that conversations among the generations, especially about finances, can be a struggle. We believe that discussions with family may be easier when incorporating conversations around family values and core beliefs—in other words, the intangibles.

You, as the trusted, intimate financial advisor, can be the one to introduce meaningful legacy conversations to your clients and their families

Women typically are the natural matriarch to introduce these legacy conversations. Matter of fact, women are more likely than men to initiate financial conversations with their families in general.

Getting Started

Our age and number of life experiences may vary, but remind your clients that every family member has a voice and can contribute wisdom.

A great way to get started introducing legacy conversations is to encourage your clients to arrange a family meal or meeting. Holidays in particular are ideal times for storytelling, talking about family traditions, culture, etc.

The sad truth is that rarely do we set aside time to talk about what really matters. The concept of meaningful legacy conversations can build bridges across both past and future generations.

The following are a few questions you can use with your clients to help them to get started having legacy conversations:

  • How do you define legacy?
  • What would you like to add to your family’s legacy?
  • What family tradition is most important to you and why?
  • Who do you admire most in your family and why?
  • What philanthropy is most important to your family and why?
  • Who taught you the most about money and why?

Benefits to Your Business

Becoming an Intimate Advisor and introducing legacy conversations will benefit you business in many ways. First and foremost, it will strengthen your tie to multiple generations in a noble and profound way by changing the client experience.

Your clients will be grateful and loyal to you for life for the legacy you’ve helped them to pass on. Other advisors are not doing this, that’s why only two percent of children are keeping their parents’ advisor when their parents pass on! This concept will truly set you apart from your competitors, ultimately providing you more referrals.

You will only see these benefits, however, if you take action. Take the time right now to write it down and make it happen. In the space provided below, write down the names of three to five clients that you can introduce legacy conversations to in the next 30 days.







¹“Engaging and Retaining Families,” Investments & Wealth Monitor (IMCA, September/October 2011)
²Money Across Generations II study, Ameriprise Financial, 2012
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