Teaching the Responsibility that Accompanies the Privilege of Wealth –
Susan Schoenfeld

4 min readSep 7, 2022


Photo by Fabian Blank on Unsplash

Susan R. Schoenfeld, CEO and Founder of Wealth Legacy Advisors LLC serves as a ‘thought partner’ to families of wealth through personal attention and human spirit. Susan is an award-winning Thought Leader; she provides guidance on legacy, next-generation, stewardship, governance, leadership succession, and philanthropy. Susan spoke on the “Governance and the Single-Family Office” panel at Opal Group’s Family Office and Private Wealth Forum. Here are a few highlights:

“It is never too early to start teaching the responsibility that accompanies the privilege of wealth; it is also never too late. For example, if a family just had an enormous liquidity event, they should start thinking about how to set things up in a way that involves their children and creates a culture of financial literacy. No one wants the situation where their children are entitled and are not competent and confident stewards of their family’s wealth.

“The answer to the question of when you should have started is yesterday. You can’t do it yesterday, so let’s start today. Even little kids can be brought into the conversation, and one wonderful teaching technique uses philanthropy.

“I worked with a family several years ago who had a son in sixth grade. I suggested to them that they allocate a small piece of their family’s overall philanthropy to their son to designate for a charity. The son told his parents that every day when he walked to school he passed his old nursery school, which attracts students from all over the community, some with dramatically wealthier circumstances and others from more modest circumstances. The son noticed that the playground was looking run-down, so he decided to designate his gift to create a new playground in his old nursery school.

“It was such a beautiful, selfless act that showed awareness of the responsibility accompanying this young man’s privilege. If philanthropy is part of a family’s culture, it is just one technique to create a sense of responsibility in even little kids.”

Susan Schoenfeld, a public speaker & thought partner to families of wealth and their advisors, is an author and award-winning thought leader. Susan’s decision to switch from being a successful estate planning attorney and CPA to become a trusted family advisor and thought partner was inspired by families of wealth asking her searching questions beyond estate tax planning. As a conflict-free advisor who provides no investment, tax, or legal advice and sells no product, Susan shares her insights directly with wealthy families and with financial services experts. She is active as a keynote speaker and a leader of break-out sessions and workshops at conferences throughout the US.





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