Falta de diálogo transforma dinheiro em maldição para os filhos
Essa é a conclusão do ótimo artigo no New York Times sobre o impacto do dinheiro da família na relação entre os herdeiros (irmãos).
O dinheiro muda de mãos, mas junto com ele, vai toda a dinâmica familiar, os ressentimentos, ciúmes, favoritismos e todo o histórico de ter evitado conflitos e conversas difíceis. Essa é a verdadeira herança que os irmãos terão que gerenciar.
70% dos problemas entre irmãos são causados por sentimentos de favorecimento, algo que poderia ser resolvido, ou ao menos mitigado, com diálogo.
O artigo faz uma analogia interessante com o futebol. O dinheiro é a bola e 90% da atenção vai para o lançador, mas apenas 10% para o receptor. Todo mundo fica preocupado com o dinheiro, mas ninguém prepara quem vai recebê-lo. E o pior: quando o lançamento dá errado, o receptor recebe a culpa!
Irmãos são julgados por terem conflitos em relação ao dinheiro, mas uma verdade inconveniente e pouco falada é que boa parte desses conflitos é causada (ou incendiada) pelos pais, que evitam as conversas necessárias, tomam decisões sem se comunicar e deixam aos filhos uma bomba atômica de desconfiança.
Famílias precisam conversar e planejar, e um bom começo é trazer um consultor, para trazer uma visão externa e isenta para um tema complexo e fundamental.
Link para o artigo:
Texto na íntegra:
How to Talk About the Family Money
Fighting over the family assets is usually about far more than that. Money is often how we keep a tally of love, approval and fairness.
By Kerry Hannon
Nov. 6, 2019
Sibling relationships can be a delicate dance, and when money gets tossed into the equation, they can get prickly.
For Thomas Lloyd, 43, and his brother Stacy B. Lloyd IV, 42, it has been a journey that began with long-ago favoritism by their grandmother Rachel Mellon of Upperville, Va., (known as Bunny) who was married to Paul Mellon, the art patron and philanthropist.
Mrs. Mellon, who was 103 when she died in March 2014, had arranged that, after funeral expenses were paid and items specified in her will distributed, any remains of her estate would go to the Gerard B. Lambert Foundation, a philanthropic and grant-making nonprofit named for her father. Though her two grandsons received equal inheritances, complications arose when they were given the opportunity to guide the foundation, along with their father, Stacy Lloyd III, who died in 2017.
Thomas said that during their childhood, Stacy, the younger sibling, received more attention from their grandmother, or Granbunny, as they called her. But Thomas, who is a certified financial planner and wealth adviser at Hemington Wealth Management in Falls Church, Va., now presides as president over the foundation, overseeing about $80 million in assets. His brother — who would not comment for this article except to say he was glad their story was being shared — is a director.
The brothers never had a close relationship, and trying to work together to make the required charitable donations from the foundation strained it, according to Thomas. He said his younger brother did not return phone calls. Deadlines were missed. Frustration and resentment mounted.
This happens when siblings cannot talk about money, or when one family member is supposed to be overseeing a financial obligation that involves all the siblings and the communication is shut down, said James Grubman, a psychologist and founder of FamilyWealth Consulting.
“He was unreliable,” Mr. Lloyd said. “I would send emails, ‘I need your thoughts on this specific issue, or a decision about grant distributions,’ and he would never meet those deadlines,” he said.
There are so many emotional aspects for siblings when it comes to financial dealings, Mr. Grubman said: “Parents or grandparents often never spend any time preparing adult children for what is coming ahead. This is usually built upon fear. Fear of entitlement. Fear of demotivating a beneficiary.”
While money issues may appear to be the cause of sibling angst, they are usually about far more than that, experts say. Money is often how we keep a tally of love, approval and fairness.
“A common pitfall is when there has been a history of favoritism among siblings,” Mr. Grubman said. “That is a big recipe for disaster. When Mom and Dad or grandparents have played favorites, or never communicated and pushed this down to the next generation, the legacy of conflict is more important than the inheritance.”
The money may get passed on, Mr. Grubman said, “but it travels with all the family dynamics, the resentments, the jealousies, the favoritism, the avoidance of conflicts, and that’s the real inheritance that siblings have to deal with.”
It turns out that less than 10 percent of adult siblings in the United States discuss money on a regular basis, according to an Ameriprise Financial Family Wealth Checkup study. And when they do talk, the most common topic is how other family members handle their finances (58 percent).
The survey of about 2,000 Americans ages 25 to 70 showed that nearly 70 percent of sibling money disagreements focused on issues like how an inheritance is divided, which child provides more support for their parents and whether parents are fair in their financial support of the children.
Beyond these disagreements, other topics that cause sibling quarrels include different money values or spending habits, varying levels of income, and issues involving repaying money.
The good news: 61 percent of all siblings will talk through their financial differences, although only a fraction of issues are settled as a result of the talk.
Many parents either believe, or are told by their lawyers, that they should not tell the children anything about a future foundation, family trust or inheritance, Mr. Grubman said. He added that it is like a quarterback who is going to throw the ball to a receiver.
That is essentially what estate planning is about, Mr. Grubman said. “The football is the money,” he said. “Ninety percent of the attention is spent on where the quarterback wants to throw it, when, and what his intentions are. The biggest flaw in the whole system is nobody prepares the receiver. In fact, they say don’t tell them that it’s coming.”
For the Lloyd brothers, the worsened communication breakdown in many ways stemmed from a lack of preparation for the “football,” as Mr. Grubman called it.
“When my grandmother passed away, no one ever explained how the legal and estate works in relation to the foundation’s assets, or what kinds of organizations we could make grants to,” Thomas Lloyd said. “Stacy didn’t want to ask questions because he didn’t want to sound stupid, so he stepped away.”
Sibling issues can be the fallout from the family dynamics, Mr. Grubman said.
“It is distrust,” he said. “That tends to be compounded by parents and grandparents who avoid communication and leave their children a legacy of suspicion. It gets played out among the siblings.”