In the realm of legacy planning and wealth management, the transmission of knowledge stands as a cornerstone. This concept is eloquently presented in the work of James Grubman and Dennis Jaffe in their 2010 paper, “Client Relationships and Family Dynamics: Competencies and Services Necessary for Truly Integrated Wealth Management.” Their model emphasizes the role of financial advisors in guiding families through the maze of wealth management, not just as consultants but as educators and facilitators of knowledge.

The Role of Financial Advisors in Knowledge Transmission

Grubman and Jaffe propose a model where financial advisors extend beyond traditional advising roles. They become conduits of knowledge, directing families to a curated selection of readings, videos, and other educational materials. This approach is transformative, shifting the paradigm from mere financial management to comprehensive legacy education.

Leveraging Resources for Informed Decision Making

The key to this model is not just the acquisition of knowledge but its application. Financial advisors, acting as relationship managers, play a crucial role in this process. They stand by families, offering coaching and facilitating discussions that help contextualize and apply the knowledge gained. This method ensures that families are not just passively receiving information but actively engaging with it, leading to more informed and strategic decisions regarding their legacy.

Building a Legacy on a Foundation of Knowledge

The ultimate goal of this model is to ensure that a family’s legacy is built on a solid foundation of informed decisions. By empowering families with knowledge and the tools to apply it, financial advisors help create a legacy that is not only financially sound but also reflective of the family’s values and goals. This approach fosters a deeper understanding and appreciation of wealth management, making it an integral part of the family’s journey and story.


The model proposed by Grubman and Jaffe is a testament to the evolving role of financial advisors in the field of wealth management. By focusing on knowledge transmission and application, advisors can play a pivotal role in shaping a family’s legacy, ensuring it is built on informed decisions and a deep understanding of wealth management principles. This approach not only benefits the families but also enriches the practice of wealth management as a whole.