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How My Family Lost Everything

By Richard Riva

I learned from an early age that you cannot preserve a legacy without having advice, planning, strategy, and governance in place. It does not matter how hard you try. 

I learned this difficult lesson when my father died prematurely and our family lost all of his inheritance in court. It’s a story of heartache and regret—one I would not wish on anyone else. 

I want to share this story with you today to remind you that there is never a better time than now to put a plan in place that helps preserve your legacy and those you care about most. It just may be the best thing you ever do for them. 

My Father’s Story

My father was not an extremely wealthy man. But he had inherited a substantial estate along the Santa Barbara coastline from my grandfather, who originally inherited it from my great-grandfather.

Three generations of Riva men had built this up and laid down roots, expecting it to stay in our family for centuries to come. But when my father died without an estate plan, our family legacy was stripped away.

Like most people who die young, my father thought he still had time. He never expected to die prematurely—especially before he had an estate plan in place—but he did. 

The Hardest Part Of It All

I grew up along the Santa Barbara coastline; I have some of my fondest childhood memories at the estate my great-grandfather built and passed down to my grandfather, who built it up some more and then passed it down to my father. 

I could tell you where every tree on that estate is planted. It’s ingrained in my memory forever. But once my father passed, the family’s legacy was lost from our hands as if it was never ours to begin with. Our legacy, gone. All because of a lack of planning. 

Over the years, I’ve watched that estate degrade in the hands of various renters who haven’t taken care of it. It’s a painful experience to watch…to not be able to have that property in our family to continue to pass on to our kids. To not be able to carry that torch forward. This is the hardest part for me.

Don’t Make My Father’s Mistake 

If you have not created your estate plan, there’s no time to waste. You can not predict the future. You don’t know what will happen one year from now or even one hour from now.

Don’t make my father’s mistake. Today is the day to preserve your legacy and have the confidence of knowing your family will be okay if something happens to you. 

Let Us Help You

At Wealth Management Solutions, we plan today to preserve our clients’ legacies tomorrow. We know what it is like when you lose everything due to a lack of planning. We don’t want that to happen to you.

Whatever your legacy is—whether it is to leave property to your heirs or make a life-changing donation to a charitable organization, we’re here to help. We specialize in faith-based planning and investments to help ensure your financial decisions align with your values and goals. If you’d like to learn more, schedule a complimentary consultation by contacting us at (949) 475-9700 or info@wms-llc.com.

About Richard

Richard Riva, the founding partner of Wealth Management Solutions, helps families advance their purpose in the framework of family financial matters. He brings comprehensive experience in banking, trust and investment services, and as an independent financial business, the passion in helping people and families, as a trusted advisor. Richard is a proud veteran and currently serves on the California State Guard.

All investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy ensures success or protects against loss.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual.

Wealth Management Solutions and LPL Financial do not provide legal advice. Please consult your legal advisor regarding your specific situation.

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