Anyone familiar with the work of Simon Sinek will know his concept of the finite and infinite game.

When I worked in global finance our international staff all participated in an infinite game – they were posted to a country for a couple of years where they were expected to ‘do their best’ – they all knew that someone had been doing the job before them and when they left, another would take over. They were expected to do the role to the best of their ability for as long as they were there. The real value to the bank was not getting the job done, but the knowledge, skills and experience gained in the post together with the friendships and contacts made that were taken on to the next posting. In a career that could amount to 14 or more postings.

When it comes to your estate planning the same concept applies. Some clients think only in terms of themselves with no thought for what happens after they are gone and more specifically, no plan for how their lifetime achievement (their estate) is transitioned. These are the finite players – for them when they die the game they have been playing all their life ends. It is down to others to deal with what remains.

Infinite players in this game of life think in terms of generations. They have done their best during their lifetime but before they are gone they ensure the game they have been playing continues. These are the people who build dynasties. When generation after generation all play the same game the family ends up owning swathes of London or half of Scotland!

Infinite players think of passing the ‘ball’ of family wealth to the next generation. They spend their last decade ensuring a smooth transfer of wealth and die knowing they had played their part. The finite players, by contrast, are the Chancellors best friend. Their lack of planning ensures the state claims 40% of all they have achieved while a queue of advisers and other ‘professionals’ forms waiting to take another 40% from their unsuspecting successors.

Which are you…..?