Utilizing the authorized system to bequeath one’s belongings was decidedly unusual for Black People throughout colonial occasions. However not for the ancestors of Merrill Lynch wealth administration advisor Glenn Preston Evans.
His seventh great-grandfather, a free Black man dwelling within the slave state of Virginia within the 1700s, left a will offering for the distribution of land, cattle, a ship and an array of family items to his youthful son.
“As I began to dig into my household ancestry, I used to be amazed to study that the instruments I exploit to assist my shoppers safe their legacy had been utilized by members of my household over 300 years in the past,” Evans tells ThinkAdvisor in an interview.
“If a person within the early 1700s dwelling in a society that posed challenges — as does in the present day’s society — can discover a method to solidify his household’s future, so can anybody studying this [article],” the advisor says.
Drawing inspiration from his forebears, Evans, 58, focuses his Quick Hills, New Jersey-based observe on retirement planning, schooling planning and legacy planning. AUM ranges from $100 million to $250 million.
Lower than half of his consumer base is African American; dominant ethnicities are white, Asian and Indian.
Within the interview, he discusses his Colonial ancestors’ clear intention to not solely move down land and different belongings however household values as properly.
He factors out that later, throughout the abolition motion, free African People helped free those that had been enslaved.
Evans, who joined Merrill in 2010 after a multi-year stint at Lehman Brothers and government positions in company growth and strategic planning at Fortune 500 firms, has a consumer area of interest centered on senior-level company executives, enterprise homeowners and professionals.
The monetary advisor, who earned a grasp’s diploma in enterprise administration from Harvard Enterprise Faculty, grew up within the New York Metropolis neighborhood of East Harlem. His father ran the upkeep division at Montefiore Hospital, and his mom loved an extended profession at Verizon and a predecessor firm, Bell Atlantic.
Evans is a licensed monetary planner and holds the Licensed Plan Fiduciary Advisor designation from the Nationwide Affiliation of Plan Advisors (NAPA), amongst others.
ThinkAdvisor lately interviewed Evans, who was talking by cellphone from his Quick Hills workplace.
Clearly, he desires the business to extend its variety of African American advisors and alongside these traces, notes: “Merrill Lynch is tackling range and inclusion aggressively. That’s gratifying.”
Listed here are excerpts from our interview:
THINKADVISOR: Is discussing legacy planning with shoppers a precedence of yours, or does it come up later within the relationship?
GLENN PRESTON EVANS: About 70% of the time we cowl legacy planning up entrance. Most of my shoppers are senior-level executives and enterprise homeowners who wish to start [planning] work towards educating their youngsters, planning for retirement and leaving a legacy.
And speaking about legacy opens up a dialogue with respect to all of the subsidiary objectives that can be fulfilled throughout one’s lifetime, like having the sources to reside a snug life.
You’ve an uncommon and fascinating historical past about legacy in your individual household. Within the 1700s, dwelling in Virginia, a slave state, your ancestors had been amongst a minority of free African People. They had been landowners who used the authorized system to move on wealth. What half did free Black individuals play in Colonial occasions and throughout the Civil Battle?
Our historical past begins within the interval when indentured servants had been the first supply of labor that grew the wealth for this nation.
It was free African People who had been instrumental in [developing] the antebellum communities all around the South, during which free former slaves lived and thrived.
And free African People had been concerned in serving to enslaved African People turn into free within the abolition motion.
Why was your loved ones free in a slave state?
[Research has found] that 90% of free African People had been the youngsters of an African male and a European [white] feminine and that their freedom was the results of being the kid of a free lady.
That was the case with my patrilineal ancestors again to the mid-1600s.
Inform me about your loved ones’s passing down its legacy.
They had been farmers who owned land, lived off the land and handed their land.
My seventh great-grandfather Morris, free on the time of his  demise, was married to a free lady of colour. He owned property, left a will and handed onto his youthful son, additionally named Morris, his property [worth a little more than $6,000 in today’s currency], which included land holdings and belongings like cattle, family furnishings, a ship [etc.]
However he left his elder son, Charles, simply 1 shilling, 1% of his belongings. There was clear intent there.
That was actually an encouragement for Charles to be productive.
Years later, Charles handed his landholdings and different belongings to most of his youngsters aside from his son, Thomas, who was left 1 shilling. Within the will, he was known as “undutiful” [unreliable, disrespectful].