While discussing wealth with children may understandably feel daunting, the good news is that discussing your family’s financial resources shouldn’t start—or end—with a dollar amount. Instead, talking to your children about your wealth can be a slowly unfolding process that gives family members a chance to explore what they want for themselves, for each other, and (perhaps) for the world at large.

Along the way, you can trace the family’s roots, identify core values, and teach children to think carefully about the wealth they enjoy now and will one day inherit. Together, you can develop a unique narrative for how your family sees itself.

How, exactly, do you do all that? Here are three steps that might help you uncover what’s important to your family as well as how individual and collective goals might be achieved.

1. Articulate your vision

Start by asking yourself these questions: What does your wealth mean to you—given what you value most in life? How do you want your wealth to shape the lives of your child/children? What priorities do you want to fund? (Education? Family travel? Philanthropy?) What “wealth pitfalls” do you most want to avoid? (Entitled children? Meaningless spending?)

Few people start out with a set of core principles already in hand. Taking the time to craft them for your family before the talking starts can produce a helpful guide to realizing the future you envision.

After you have some idea of what you want, go over these questions with your partner to uncover key points of alignment or disagreement. Then do the same with your children.

Be aspirational in your conversations. Also be sure to focus on softer (i.e., non-monetary) outcomes. (Family unity? Community involvement? Skills development?) Don’t try to assign dollar amounts or create a framework for the future at this stage.

The key to making these conversations successful is to listen to others and respond thoughtfully. See a child’s question as an opportunity to share goals, detail expectations and communicate values.

Also, do not expect answers to come quickly, or to stay the same. Over time, foundational principles will emerge from ongoing conversations.

Activities to consider: 

  • Create a family tree with your children and trace successes—and failures—with wealth over time.
  • Have children make a list of questions regarding money/the family’s resources. Focus initially on why they’re asking the question—not on answering it immediately. Their reasons for asking may help you focus your response.
  • Incorporate your core values into an overarching motto that sums up your family’s approach to wealth.

2. Bring your vision to life

Are you sure your assets will pass to heirs in the ways you intend? Have you given ample guidance to trustees? Did you communicate your expectations to family, trustees and other interested parties about how and when family funds will be made available to various individuals?

As you and your partner create and update wills, trusts, letters of wishes and other estate planning documents, make sure they align to the core principles you and your family have identified. This legal framework will guide how your heirs benefit from and steward the wealth you have created. So, for example, if travel is something your family values, you’ll want to make sure there are funds and potentially trust agreement language that enable travel.

Ensuring the education of future generations is a priority for many families. If your family shares this goal, draft an education spending policy, (i.e., a set of procedural fairness guidelines for how family education expenses will be funded.) Ask yourself: How far beyond high school do you want to underwrite a child’s education? Will you cover tuition, room and board plus course fees? What about entertainment, cellphones, overseas study? Will you fund comparable expenses for a child/grandchild who chooses not to go to college? Under what circumstances?

If your financial support for your children’s schooling comes with expectations regarding their lives after college (career goals, spending habits, budgeting, etc.), make these caveats known to them. 

The aim is to maintain open communication channels, and to clarify how the family’s financial resources may be used—or not used—on each heir’s behalf.

To this end, you may also want to identify roles and responsibilities you would like family members to assume as they mature. Participate in family businesses? Manage trusts? Guide decisions about investments or philanthropic giving? Earn money? Save it? Make such topics part of regular family conversations.

Similarly, regularly communicate with outside advisors to make sure your estate plans are current and in line with family goals. Include your partner, and consider including your children in these conversations, as appropriate.

Cautionary tale: Too often beneficiaries don’t learn inheritance details or gain insights into family wealth until long after they’ve made unalterable life decisions. With more advance knowledge, they might have chosen differently.

Activities to consider:

  • Weekly family dinners: Make one night in your family’s busy week a set time to talk about plans for the future, hopes and concerns, investment philosophy, contingency and estate planning, etc.
  • Consider writing a letter of wishes to express to your beneficiaries your values and intended purpose of your wealth. Letters of wishes are not legally binding and don’t necessarily disclose dollar amounts. They provide guidance to trustees and beneficiaries about your intentions. Once your attorney ensures that they align with your estate plan, these letters can be shared with family members at any time—which may create an enlightening event for all involved.

3. Encourage family engagement

Are your children ready to take the reins? Manage the wealth you created? Control family businesses or other assets? Make informed investment decisions for themselves?

Children gain a great deal from understanding how the family manages its resources: governance structure and operating principles, as well as the roles and responsibilities they may be asked to one day assume.

Will they become a trustee? Be involved in philanthropic efforts? If so, then at a minimum, they must learn to speak knowledgeably with investment advisors and estate administrators. If they’re going to be a trustee or run a private foundation, greater technical mastery and training are needed.

Such learning doesn’t happen overnight. Active appreciation and stewardship of family resources begin by helping children develop leadership skills and financial acumen, according to their ages, abilities and interests. It also takes place in many forums: ongoing family discussions, formal family meetings/retreats led by outside specialists, tapping the expertise of family advisors, online study or in-person courses.

And don’t overlook the importance of your leading by example. Helping your family live their values in an environment built on positive communication, behavior and lifestyle is central to their actively embracing the values you wish to instill.

Activities to consider:

  • Set aside a (small) discrete pool of funds to support your child’s/family’s philanthropic interests. Once it’s clear where their interests/passions lie, they can research suitable organizations, apportion funds, and monitor/report on outcomes. Keep in mind: Young family members are more likely to become involved when they have a hand in picking the cause(s) your family supports. Also, because philanthropy typically involves only a small portion of a family’s balance sheet, children ultimately may gain limited insight into the family’s resources. So this can be a good first step but not the last, since philanthropy can’t replace active and ongoing discussions about, and engagement in, the family’s overall goals for its wealth.
  • Meet periodically to assess topics of interest to further learning within the family.

We can help

Helping your children learn how to manage wealth is a lengthy and multifaceted process.

Your J.P. Morgan team can provide meaningful assistance and materials to help your children manage their finances and invest wisely, for example:

  • Saving and spending activities for younger children. Ask your J.P. Morgan team for a copy of our Children & Wealth Workbook.
  • Basic investment and financial planning advice for high schoolers and college students. 

There is no better time than today to start sharing your values on wealth with your children. Your J.P. Morgan team can help you prepare for and navigate these conversations as well as provide resources to empower your children in their financial lives.

We Are Here To Help

If you would like to speak with a J.P. Morgan Advisor about a customized strategy relative to your financial goals, contact us.


This material is for information purposes only, and may inform you of certain products and services offered by J.P. Morgan’s wealth management businesses, part of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (“JPM”). Please read all Important Information.


Any views, strategies or products discussed in this video may not be appropriate for all individuals and are subject to risks. Investors may get back less than they invested, and past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results. Asset allocation/diversification does not guarantee a profit or protect against loss. Nothing in this video should be relied upon in isolation for the purpose of making an investment decision. You are urged to consider carefully whether the services, products, asset classes (e.g. equities, fixed income, alternative investments, commodities, etc.) or strategies discussed are suitable to your needs. You must also consider the objectives, risks, charges, and expenses associated with an investment service, product or strategy prior to making an investment decision.  For this and more complete information, including discussion of your goals/situation, contact your J.P. Morgan team.


Certain information contained in this video is believed to be reliable; however, JPM does not represent or warrant its accuracy, reliability or completeness, or accept any liability for any loss or damage (whether direct or indirect) arising out of the use of all or any part of this video. No representation or warranty should be made with regard to any computations, graphs, tables, diagrams or commentary in this video, which are provided for illustration/reference purposes only. The views, opinions, estimates and strategies expressed in this video constitute our judgment based on current market conditions and are subject to change without notice. JPM assumes no duty to update any information in the event that such information changes. Views, opinions, estimates and strategies expressed herein may differ from those expressed by other areas of JPM, views expressed for other purposes or in other contexts, and this should not be regarded as a research report. Any projected results and risks are based solely on hypothetical examples cited, and actual results and risks will vary depending on specific circumstances. Forward-looking statements should not be considered as guarantees or predictions of future events.

Nothing in this video shall be construed as giving rise to any duty of care owed to, or advisory relationship with, you or any third party.  Nothing in this video shall be regarded as an offer, solicitation, recommendation or advice (whether financial, accounting, legal, tax or other) given by J.P. Morgan and/or its officers or employees, irrespective of whether or not such communication was given at your request. J.P. Morgan and its affiliates and employees do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any financial transactions. 


Conflicts of interest will arise whenever JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. or any of its affiliates (together, “J.P. Morgan”) have an actual or perceived economic or other incentive in its management of our clients’ portfolios to act in a way that benefits J.P. Morgan. Conflicts will result, for example (to the extent the following activities are permitted in your account): (1) when J.P. Morgan invests in an investment product, such as a mutual fund, structured product, separately managed account or hedge fund issued or managed by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. or an affiliate, such as J.P. Morgan Investment Management Inc.; (2) when a J.P. Morgan entity obtains services, including trade execution and trade clearing, from an affiliate; (3) when J.P. Morgan receives payment as a result of purchasing an investment product for a client’s account; or (4) when J.P. Morgan receives payment for providing services (including shareholder servicing, recordkeeping or custody) with respect to investment products purchased for a client’s portfolio. Other conflicts will result because of relationships that J.P. Morgan has with other clients or when J.P. Morgan acts for its own account.

Investment strategies are selected from both J.P. Morgan and third-party asset managers and are subject to a review process by our manager research teams. From this pool of strategies, our portfolio construction teams select those strategies we believe fit our asset allocation goals and forward looking views in order to meet the portfolio's investment objective.

As a general matter, we prefer J.P. Morgan managed strategies. We expect the proportion of J.P. Morgan managed strategies will be high (in fact, up to 100 percent) in strategies such as, for example, cash and high-quality fixed income, subject to applicable law and any account-specific considerations.

While our internally managed strategies generally align well with our forward-looking views, and we are familiar with the investment processes as well as the risk and compliance philosophy of the firm, it is important to note that J.P. Morgan receives more overall fees when internally managed strategies are included. We offer the option of choosing to exclude J.P. Morgan managed strategies (other than cash and liquidity products) in certain portfolios.


In the United States, bank deposit accounts and related services, such as checking, savings and bank lending, are offered by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC.

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. and its affiliates (collectively "JPMCB") offer investment products, which may include bank managed investment accounts and custody, as part of its trust and fiduciary services. Other investment products and services, such as brokerage and advisory accounts, are offered through J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (“JPMS”), a member of FINRA and SIPC. Annuities are made available through Chase Insurance Agency, Inc. (CIA), a licensed insurance agency, doing business as Chase Insurance Agency Services, Inc. in Florida. JPMCB, JPMS and CIA are affiliated companies under the common control of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Products not available in all states.

In Luxembourg, material is issued by J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg S.A. (JPMBL), with registered office at European Bank and Business Centre, 6 route de Treves, L-2633, Senningerberg, Luxembourg. R.C.S Luxembourg B10.958. Authorised and regulated by Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) and jointly supervised by the European Central Bank (ECB) and the CSSF. J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg S.A. is authorized as a credit institution in accordance with the Law of 5th April 1993. In the United Kingdom,  material is issued by J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg S.A– London Branch. Prior to Brexit,(Brexit meaning that the UK leaves the European Union under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, or, if later, loses its ability to passport financial services between the UK and the remainder of the EEA), J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg S.A– London Branch is subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Details about the extent of our regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority are available from us on request. In the event of Brexit, in the UK, J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg S.A.– London Branch is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority, subject to regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and limited regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority. Details about the extent of our regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority are available from us on request. In Spain, material is distributed by J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg S.A., Sucursal en España, with registered office at Paseo de la Castellana, 31, 28046 Madrid, Spain. J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg S.A., Sucursal en España is registered under number 1516 within the administrative registry of  the Bank of Spain and supervised by the Spanish Securities Market Commission (CNMV). In Germany, material is distributed by J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg S.A., Frankfurt Branch, registered office at Taunustor 1 (TaunusTurm), 60310 Frankfurt, Germany, jointly supervised by the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) and the European Central Bank (ECB), and in certain areas also supervised by the Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin). In Italy, material is distributed by J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg S.A– Milan Branch, registered office at Via Catena Adalberto 4, Milan 20121, Italy and regulated by Bank of Italy and the Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB). In the Netherlands, material is distributed by J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg S.A., Amsterdam Branch, with registered office at World Trade Centre, Tower B, Strawinskylaan 1135, 1077 XX, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg S.A., Amsterdam Branch is authorised and regulated by the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) and jointly supervised by the European Central Bank (ECB) and the CSSF in Luxembourg; J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg S.A., Amsterdam Branch is also authorised and supervised by De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) and the Autoriteit Financiële Markten (AFM) in the Netherlands. Registered with the Kamer van Koophandel as a branch of J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg S.A. under registration number 71651845. In Denmark, material is distributed by J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg, Copenhagen Br, filial af J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg S.A. with registered office at Kalvebod Brygge 39-41, 1560 København V, Denmark. J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg, Copenhagen Br, filial af J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg S.A.is authorised and regulated by Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) and jointly supervised by the European Central Bank (ECB) and the CSSF. J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg, Copenhagen Br, filial af J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg S.A. is also subject to the supervision of Finanstilsynet (Danish FSA) and registered with Finanstilsynet as a branch of J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg S.A. under code 29009.  In Sweden, material is distributed by J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg S.A. - Stockholm Bankfilial, with registered office at Hamngatan 15, Stockholm, 11147, Sweden. J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg S.A. - Stockholm Bankfilial is authorised and regulated by Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) and jointly supervised by the European Central Bank (ECB) and the CSSF. J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg S.A., Stockholm Branch is also subject to the supervision of Finansinspektionen (Swedish FSA). Registered with Finansinspektionen as a branch of J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg S.A..  In France, material is distributed by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (“JPMCB”), Paris branch, which is regulated by the French banking authorities Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution and Autorité des Marchés Financiers. In Switzerland, material is distributed by J.P. Morgan (Suisse) SA, which is regulated in Switzerland by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA).

In Hong Kong, material is distributed by JPMCB, Hong Kong branch. JPMCB, Hong Kong branch is regulated by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, we will cease to use your personal data for our marketing purposes without charge if you so request. In Singapore, material is distributed by JPMCB, Singapore branch. JPMCB, Singapore branch is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Dealing and advisory services and discretionary investment management services are provided to you by JPMCB, Hong Kong/Singapore branch (as notified to you). Banking and custody services are provided to you by JPMCB Singapore Branch. The contents of this video have not been reviewed by any regulatory authority in Hong Kong, Singapore or any other jurisdictions. You are advised to exercise caution in relation to this video. If you are in any doubt about any of the contents of this video, you should obtain independent professional advice. For materials which constitute product advertisement under the Securities and Futures Act and the Financial Advisers Act, this advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., a national banking association chartered under the laws of the United States, and as a body corporate, its shareholder’s liability is limited.

With respect to countries in Latin America, the distribution of material may be restricted in certain jurisdictions. We may offer and/or sell to you securities or other financial instruments which may not be registered under, and are not the subject of a public offering under, the securities or other financial regulatory laws of your home country. Such securities or instruments are offered and/or sold to you on a private basis only. Any communication by us to you regarding such securities or instruments, including without limitation the delivery of a prospectus, term sheet or other offering document, is not intended by us as an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or instruments in any jurisdiction in which such an offer or a solicitation is unlawful. Furthermore, such securities or instruments may be subject to certain regulatory and/or contractual restrictions on subsequent transfer by you, and you are solely responsible for ascertaining and complying with such restrictions. To the extent this content makes reference to a fund, the Fund may not be publicly offered in any Latin American country, without previous registration of such fund´s securities in compliance with the laws of the corresponding jurisdiction. Public offering of any security, including the shares of the Fund, without previous registration at Brazilian Securities and Exchange Commission–CVM is completely prohibited. Some products or services contained herein might not be currently provided by the Brazilian and Mexican platforms.

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (JPMCBNA) (ABN 43 074 112 011/AFS Licence No: 238367) is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. Material provided by JPMCBNA in Australia is to “wholesale clients” only. For the purposes of this paragraph the term “wholesale client” has the meaning given in section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). Please inform us if you are not a Wholesale Client now or if you cease to be a Wholesale Client at any time in the future.

JPMS is a registered foreign company (overseas) (ARBN 109293610) incorporated in Delaware, U.S.A. Under Australian financial services licensing requirements, carrying on a financial services business in Australia requires a financial service provider, such as J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (JPMS), to hold an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL), unless an exemption applies. JPMS is exempt from the requirement to hold an AFSL under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Act) in respect of financial services it provides to you, and is regulated by the SEC, FINRA and CFTC under US laws, which differ from Australian laws. Material provided by JPMS in Australia is to “wholesale clients” only. The information provided herein is not intended to be, and must not be, distributed or passed on, directly or indirectly, to any other class of persons in Australia. For the purposes of this paragraph the term “wholesale client” has the meaning given in section 761G of the Act. Please inform us immediately if you are not a Wholesale Client now or if you cease to be a Wholesale Client at any time in the future.

This content has not been prepared specifically for Australian investors. It:

  • may contain references to dollar amounts which are not Australian dollars;
  • may contain financial information which is not prepared in accordance with Australian law or practices;
  • may not address risks associated with investment in foreign currency denominated investments; and
  • does not address Australian tax issues.

References to “J.P. Morgan” are to JPM, its subsidiaries and affiliates worldwide. “J.P. Morgan Private Bank” is the brand name for the private banking business conducted by JPM. This is intended for your personal use and should not be circulated to or used by any other person, or duplicated for non-personal use, without our permission. If you have any questions or no longer wish to receive these communications, please contact your J.P. Morgan team. 

© 2023 JPMorgan Chase & Co. All rights reserved.