A growing breed of financial advisors is working with the children of wealthy clients to help them avoid the pitfalls that often come with inheriting a fortune.
Some firms are hiring advisors who might be retained by clients to focus on their heirs - or by the heirs themselves. Firms that offer the niche service also increase the likelihood of managing - and preserving - the family's assets for another generation.
Targeting the wealthy's progeny could be lucrative. Baby boomers will leave more than an estimated $30 trillion to younger generations over the next 30 years, according to a study by financial services firm Pershing LLC.
Advising clients' kids is not always easy: they often need more education about budgeting and investments than older clients, and tend to communicate during irregular hours.
Five years ago, advisor Jeff Seavey at SunTrust Private Wealth Management, part of SunTrust Banks Inc, began schooling a younger advisor to work with clients' children.
The advisor, Mary Lowell Downing, now 28, has brought in 15 new high net worth clients in the last three years thanks to her appeal to members of the younger generation. She now works with about 40 percent of the firm's clients, Seavey said.
Downing said she frequently gets late-night emails from clients with links to house listings on real estate website Zillow.com and the questions, "Do you like this?" and "Can I afford it?" - a sign of fellow millenials' comfort with her.
Downing's clients are often preparing for major firsts, such as a child or house.
By working with Seavey, Downing has a full understanding of her clients and their parents' financial picture.
"[G]enerations think differently about values and lifestyles," Downing said. "The way I communicate is to try to frame everything within the overall family legacy."