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The Cycle of the Gift: Family Wealth and Wisdom

Book Description

A comprehensive guide to giving well to family members

Giving is at the core of family life--and with current law allowing up to $5,120,000 in tax-free gifts, at least through December 2012, the ultra-affluent are faced with the task of giving at perhaps largest scale in history. Beyond the tax saving and wealth management implications, giving to family members opens up a slew of thorny questions, the biggest of which is, "How do I prepare recipients of such large gifts?" With that question and others in mind, Hughes, Massenzio, and Whitaker have written The Cycle of the Gift in three main parts: "The Who of Giving," "The How of Giving," and "The What and Why of Giving." The first part focuses on the people most deeply involved in family giving, especially the recipients and givers (parents, grandparents, spouses, trustees). The second part, "The How of Giving," addresses the delicate balance of givers who want to maintain some level of control and recipients who want some level of freedom in accepting and growing their gifts. The final part, "The What and Why of Giving" describes various types of gifts, from money to business interests to values and rituals. The authors also introduce their "family bank" concept as a model that combines loans, trusts, and outright gifts. It embodies a framework and set of practices for long-term family growth. Even families without great wealth--or those who have already made large gifts to their children and grandchilren--can benefit from the human wisdom and practical advice found in The Cycle of the Gift.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Contents
  3. Title
  4. Copyright
  5. Dedication
  6. Preface
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Introduction
  9. Chapter 1: The Elephant in the Room
    1. Grandparents’ Checks
    2. When Giving Becomes an Opportunity
  10. Chapter 2: The Spirit of the Gift
    1. Where the Spirit Leads
  11. The Who of Giving
    1. Chapter 3: Becoming a Wise Giver
      1. Know Thyself
      2. How Much?
      3. Guilt and Remorse
      4. Nothing Too Much
    2. Chapter 4: Receiving Wisely
      1. A Bad Investment?
      2. The Psychological Stages of Giving
      3. Giving and the Work Ethic
      4. Not Yet
      5. Meteors and Resilience
      6. Investing in Recipients
    3. Chapter 5: Spouses
      1. Learning from Yourselves and Each Other
      2. Three-Step Process
      3. Blended Families
      4. Prenuptial Discussions
      5. Fiscal Unequals
    4. Chapter 6: Grandparents
      1. Grandparents’ Great Opportunity
      2. Involving Parents
      3. Grandparents and Philanthropy
    5. Chapter 7: Trustees
      1. The Choice of Trustee
      2. The Type of Trustee
      3. The Relationship between Beneficiary and Trustee
      4. A Regenerative Role
    6. Chapter 8: Elders
      1. Intergenerational Dynamics
      2. Growing Elders
      3. The Work of Elders
  12. The How of Giving
    1. Chapter 9: Control versus Freedom
      1. The Myth of the Free Gift
      2. Cui Bono?
      3. The Giving of Accounts
      4. Letting Be
    2. Chapter 10: Fair versus Equal, Separate versus Together
      1. The Balancing Act
      2. Pot Shots
      3. Flourishing
      4. Promises
    3. Chapter 11: Giving Outright, via Loans, or in Trust?
      1. Options
      2. Sharing the Spirit
      3. Making Loans Work
      4. Why Trusts?
      5. The Family Bank
      6. Form versus Function
  13. The What and Why of Giving
    1. Chapter 12: What Families Give
      1. Homes
      2. Business Interests
      3. Values
      4. Rituals
      5. Reputation
    2. Chapter 13: The Why of Giving
      1. Why Not
      2. The Family Tree
      3. Giving Thanks
  14. About the Authors
  15. Index