Those who count on such windfalls to help them meet their financial goals are at risk, and for a very simple reason.

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Family members often transfer wealth among themselves in the form of gifts and wills. But those who count on such windfalls to help them meet their financial goals are at risk, and for a very simple reason.

“It may not happen,” said Angie Furubotten-LaRosee, a financial planner with The Advisor Benefits Group in Kennewick.

And, she added: “It’s not something that you can recover from overnight if it does not happen.”

One way to reduce the uncertainty is for family members to talk about it and commit themselves to gifts and inheritances in the future.

But, “it’s a tricky subject,” Furubotten-LaRosee said, and not every family is capable of having that kind of conversation.

A better approach may be for family members to take responsibility for meeting their own financial goals without relying on the goodwill of others.

Be the captain of your own ship, she said. That way you have more control over it.

— George Erb