Take a peek at estate planning stories of the wealthy

October 11, 2017 Ian Hull Beneficiary Designations, Estate & Trust, Estate Planning, Hull on Estates, Power of Attorney, Trustees, Uncategorized, Wills Tags: , , , , 0 Comments

We all love a good story. Places like Hollywood were built on that premise. And while there are thousands of great stories built around things like love, war, superheroes, and disasters, there are a surprising number of great stories built around an area you likely would never have considered for bedtime reading: estate planning.

Yes, you read that right. When you think about it, it’s not that surprising. When it comes to leading families, estate planning involves the planning and allocation of enormous wealth, and, in many cases, successful businesses.

Add in the human dynamic – from greed, jealousy, incompetence, and hatred to caring, generosity, kindness, and love – and there are many interesting stories out there.

And they don’t all end well. Take International Management Group (IMG) and Mark McCormack. Starting in 1960, McCormack built his sports agency into a powerhouse, representing the world’s top golfers – Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods – as well as top players from many other sports.

Just as IMG had set up financing for a huge expansion in 2003, Mark McCormack died suddenly of a heart attack at age 72. Even though his sons were involved in the business, and his second wife inherited the shares, there was no true succession planning in place. Sadly, with a huge leadership vacuum and high debt, his widow was forced to sell to a buyout firm and the family lost a business more than 40 years in the making.

Contrast that with the story of Milton Hershey, of the chocolate bar fame. At age 61, and in good health, he transferred virtually all his wealth and company shares into a trust for the benefit of a school for underprivileged children. More than 70 years after his death, his company has expanded worldwide, the trust still owns the company, and his humanitarian vision for business and community is thriving.

Motivate your planning – read some stories

Creaghan McConnell Group – a firm of professionals in Toronto who help leading Canadian families and their advisors find and design their future ownership and financial security strategies – have written up these family stories and others on their website. The stories aren’t long, but they’re a fascinating read, and provide insights into how good planning can make a huge difference to future generations: http://www.cmgpartners.ca/cmg-insights-grid/

Thank you for reading.
Ian Hull

 

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