The transfer of wealth from one generation to the next is one of the (usually happy) facts of life in an affluent family, but it does not always involve a death and the reading of a will. One of the realities of the post-crash economic downturn is that more adult children are expecting their parents to help them out financially, for a home down payment or a mortgage payment or two, a car or college tuition for the grandchildren.

Not many families can withstand a long-term drain on assets that likely already took a blow during the market meltdown of a few years ago. Some advisors would rather drop clients than sit by idly while they embark on spending sprees that may cause them to outlive their portfolios.

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