As the baby boomers age into retirement, managers of multigenerational wealth won’t find their jobs any easier. For starters, they may have to forge ties with family clients all over again. Richard Stone, founder and chairman of Private Ocean, a San Rafael, California–based firm overseeing nearly $900 million in assets, has spotted a trend: heirs abandoning their parents’ investment strategies and advisers. “As a wealth management firm that is counting on multigenerational relationships, how do you position yourself to make sure that you’re the adviser for that new generation?” Stone asks. “That’s a big, big theme right now in the industry.”

Managers must also convince current family heads that it’s time to begin ceding some power to the kids. “The boomers don’t like to admit that they are getting older, and they don’t like the idea of giving up control,” says Beth Landin, who oversees client relationships for Market Street Trust Co., a Corning, New York–based multifamily office with more than $1 billion under management.

Boomer households — those between ages 49 and 68 — accounted for some 60 percent of the $13 trillion in assets overseen by U.S. mutual fund managers in 2012, industry group Investment Company Institute reports. But members of the generation born after World War II have often delayed making necessary plans and broaching unpleasant topics such as diminished physical and mental capacity later in life, according to Landin. Market Street isn’t afraid to raise those questions with clients. “We speak with our families about every aspect of the process, from preparing ahead for in-home medical care to deciding which child will be the point person for making financial decisions and which one will handle parental care needs,” Landin says.

The age of clients when they inherit wealth will have a big impact on managers’ ability to maintain ties with families, experts note. Aged 18 to 29, millennial clients have a different attitude than their older, Generation X counterparts. “While Gen X members tend to be more skeptical of financial advisers, the good news is that millennials may be easier to retain as clients,” says Kim Lear, a researcher with BridgeWorks, a Minneapolis-based consulting firm that helps investment firms and other businesses manage multigenerational communication internally and with clients. BridgeWorks’ research suggests that parental opinions have a greater influence on millennials than on prior generations, so an adviser can build lasting bonds with young family members by having them join meetings with Mom and Dad. “If they see that you have their parents’ confidence, that will go a long way with that generation,” Lear explains.