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The Cycle of the Gift: Family Wealth and Wisdom by Keith Whitaker, Susan E. Massenzio, James E. Hughes

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Chapter 1

The Elephant in the Room

Giving within families is a phenomenon that most people hesitate to talk about. Even in the midst of recessions and crises, tens of thousands of households across the globe have the wherewithal to make regular gifts of cash or securities to their children and grandchildren. And practically all parents, no matter how slender their means, dream of leaving something to their children after death. For anyone with parents, children, or grandchildren, giving to “your own” occupies a key place in life.

So why do we not discuss it more? Why is it not as much a part of public discussion as giving to nonfamily members, in the form of philanthropy or charity? More to the point, why is it so hard to discuss such giving ...

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