Our goal is to support important conversations that keep communication open and help maintain trust among family members.  The result is that everyone has information about their financial future.  We help you identify what is important to communicate with your family and then facilitate those conversations.  Additional information about the various services we provide are outlined below.

 

Family Meetings 

Family meetings are designed to communicate details and engage your family in conversation about import family topics.  These gatherings take many different forms and can range in size from 4 to 400, depending on the size of your family.  In addition to conveying information and getting input, these meetings reinforce shared family values, strengthen relationships and provide opportunities to have fun.  Using outside facilitation reduces hierarchy and enables every member to participate in the meeting rather than have some who are distracted by meeting facilitation and logistics.

 

Generational Transitions 

Whether you are a wealth-creator or you are the beneficiary of one, you know how challenging it can be to raise a family in the context of wealth.  You want them to be happy, but it’s not that simple.  We strongly believe that the best way to support their happiness is to give them information, education and mentoring to ensure they are prepared for their financial future.

  • Estate planning – We help you think about your overall estate and what your objectives and concerns are before meeting with your estate planning attorney. This prepares you for the conversation, and it gives the attorney clear direction about your objectives.  The net result is estate plans to meet your goals and take less time.
  • Family business planning – Working with family can be rewarding, and it has its challenges. Without clear expectations and decision-making processes, there are many opportunities for confusion, frustration, anger and resentment, which plays out both at work and at home.  We help families reduce friction by clarifying expectations and decision-making processes while also helping practice conflict resolution.

 

Decision Making

Families that establish clear expectations and have transparent decision-making practices are more resilient. Depending on the size of the family, these practices can be simple or complex.  The important thing is that they’re defined and consistently adhered to.

These practices and procedures are often called “governance”.  Strong family governance reduces conflict and supports family harmony.

 

Shared Family Land

People develop emotional connection to places, especially if those places contain a lifetime of memories.  Your children grew up in these places, marking their height on door frames, finding frogs in the creek and playing cards together on the floor in front of the fire. This continuity becomes part of your family identity and can help build confidence.

And yet, sharing property is difficult.  We help property owners consider whether to sell or pass on these cherished spaces.  If there is interest in keeping the property, we facilitate family conversations about what to expect and how to structure ownership and decision-making.

 

Philanthropy

Passing along a culture of giving to family members is a proven way to cultivate a sense of gratitude.  Giving together can also be a way to practice group decision-making and provides opportunities to get to know each other in ways that are harder to create organically.  Below are some of the areas we help clients with their giving:

  • Charitable Strategy Developing – Shift from reactive giving to strategic giving, with a focus on organizations that support things you find compelling.
  • Next Generation Engagement – Family giving can be incredibly rewarding, and yet it can be challenging to engage your children in something they may see as your domain.  Philanthropy can be a great way to learn about family members and their interests while also working together on something that can connect you in new ways.
  • Philanthropic Mentoring – From determining whether to use a donor advised fund or create a foundation to narrowing the areas of interest for your giving, to helping you become more comfortable assessing impact and learning the type of giving that feels best for you, we work side by side to support your learning.

 

Nurturing Family Culture

Every family has a culture, whether they recognize it or not.  Your family culture becomes increasingly important as you add generations.   At its core, the culture is an embodiment of your values. Those values are obvious when your family is just two generations, but they’re less obvious and more challenging to sustain as future generations hear about you in family lore.  Family culture is an important aspect of maintaining close connection and identity as a family.  We help families clarify and nurture their family culture as it evolves over time.

 

Estate Planning Pre-work

How much is enough?  How much is too much?  What will happen with my art collection?  My garden is such a big part of my life, but I don’t want to burden anyone with it – how do I deal with that?  How do I accommodate for the different needs of family members and still maintain a sense of fairness?  These are the types of questions that need to be considered BEFORE you go into an estate planning attorney.

We help you identity details that need to be addressed in the estate planning process.  This makes the process of creating or updating your estate plans easier, faster, and more efficient.

To learn more, call us at 603-315-0576 or click here to send an email