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Transfer Wealth Purposefully with a Statement of Intent


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Add context to your wealth transfer plan by sharing your values with your family.

Typically, beneficiaries learn of wealth transfer plans from legal documents shared without context and only after the death of the grantor. However, this can lead to unanswered questions and, potentially, feelings of betrayal when expectations for future gifts go unmet. To address the risk of future family discord, some wealthy families now include a Statement of Wealth Transfer Intent (SOWTI) in their wealth transfer plan. As a starting point for the planning process, a SOWTI enables families to think through and then communicate their vision with the current and future beneficiaries of their trusts.

The Benefits of a Having a SOWTI

  1. Improves the likelihood your wealth plan will be carried out as you intend
  2. Avoids future misunderstandings and promotes family harmony
  3. Preserves your voice and articulates your family’s purpose for current and future generations

Align Your Trusts and Family Goals with Purpose

Including a formal SOWTI within your trust documents will not override the specific terms of your trusts. But going through the process of creating one will allow you to share and define your perspective regarding the decisions you made around:

  1. Wealth and the role of trusts
  2. What constitutes family
  3. Productive pursuits
  4. Standards for distribution
  5. Role of education


To help you start preparing your statement of intent, we have developed a downloadable guide. It includes a series of reflective exercises and excerpts taken from some of our clients’ SOWTIs. We also welcome the opportunity to discuss this, or any other aspect of your wealth transfer plan, in coordination with your other advisors.

Dive Deeper

Statement of Intent

Request the workbook to prepare your statement of intent.

The guide on creating a statement of intent is the first in a three-part series we have developed to help clients ensure their estate plans reflect the goals and intentions of their unique families. For more information on the second part of the series, please read Navigating Trustee Selection.

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LEGAL, INVESTMENT AND TAX NOTICE: This information is not intended to be and should not be treated as legal advice, investment advice or tax advice and is for informational purposes only. Readers, including professionals, should under no circumstances rely upon this information as a substitute for their own research or for obtaining specific legal or tax advice from their own counsel.

All information discussed herein is current only as of the date appearing in this material and is subject to change at any time without notice. This information, including any information regarding specific investment products or strategies, does not take into account the reader’s individual needs and circumstances and should not be construed as an offer, solicitation or recommendation to enter into any transaction or to utilize a specific investment product or strategy.

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