“My advice to parents is this: The amount you should give your children is the amount you prepare them for.”

“My advice to parents is this: The amount you should give your children is the amount you prepare them for.”

Chicago, IL

Pamela Lucina

Chief Fiduciary Officer, Trust & Advisory Practice Leader


Pam leads a national team of trust and estate professionals to help clients achieve their goals through the use of world class tools and techniques, with an eye toward the human element of wealth and family dynamics. She is a recognized leader and speaker within the trust and estate legal community and a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC).

Wealth Management Executive Q&A

What are the biggest concerns you hear from clients?

Parents often ask me how much money is the “right” amount to leave their children. They would like to strike the balance famously articulated by Warren Buffet: “…enough so they can do anything, but not enough so they can do nothing.” My advice to parents is this: the amount you should give your children is the amount you prepare them for. If you are going to give them a lot, you should prepare them for a lot. If you are going to give them nothing, prepare them for that. The worst case scenario is to prepare them for nothing and give them a lot, or vice versa.

"Women, like all clients, have uniquely personal goals. Their advisor needs to have a deep understanding of those ambitions and build a comprehensive plan to achieve them."

What are some common goals/wealth planning requirements for your female clients?

Women’s financial goals don’t differ categorically from men and there is a danger in making sweeping assumptions about their priorities. Women, like all clients, have uniquely personal goals. Their advisor needs to have a deep understanding of those ambitions and build a comprehensive plan to achieve them.

Favorite Quote

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein

How is the wealth management industry falling short in addressing women’s unique planning needs?

The industry falls short for everyone when advice is generic and not tailored to the unique needs of any individual, man or woman. The problem can be heightened for women, because the industry often starts with assumptions more likely attributable to men, such as earnings and life expectancies. Women shouldn’t have to pay more for this type of advice just because it is geared toward women, it should be table stakes. However, we need to stop making assumptions about any gender and tailor financial advice around each individual’s own personalized objectives, because the world is changing and individual needs are evolving.

"We need to stop making assumptions about any gender and tailor financial advice around each individual’s own personalized objectives."

What are common stereotypes/misconceptions about the role women play in their own financial affairs?

There are misconceptions that women do not understand investing, that they aren’t good with numbers or are overly risk averse. This simply is not true and is perpetrated by the stereotype that men are more comfortable with investment jargon. No one likes jargon, and no one wants to feel embarrassed for asking a question. Women do not need patronizing explanations tied to purses and shoes; they need what everyone needs: clarity, transparency and insights that empower them to make decisions.

Philanthropic Pursuits

Pam is a member of the Planned Giving Boards for the Steppenwolf Theater, the Shedd Aquarium and Hadley School for the Blind. She previously served as a board member for Girls on the Run, a charity near and dear to her heart as a mother of three girls. She leverages her expertise in wealth, tax and philanthropic planning to help these important organizations manage fundraising.