In most family wealth planning cases, the non-financial considerations are at least as important to the client as the purely technical aspects are, if not more so. Generally, our clients feel strongly about helping the future generations learn how to cope with and manage the issues associated with significant wealth. All clients typically want their heirs to continue to be productive, contributing members of their communities. They desire that their wealth be a facilitator of this, rather than an obstacle to achieving this goal. Important questions our clients often ask include:
- What is the effect of the inheritance on our children?
- What is our family's definition of success?
- How will we prepare our children for a financial inheritance?
- How can our children/grandchildren benefit from family philanthropy?
- How do we measure success over a long timeframe?
- What can we do to enhance family communication?
- How do we give younger family members appropriate responsibility as soon as is practical?
- Would a family vision statement be beneficial?
The Firm is quite accustomed to handling this often sensitive subject in a manner that is specifically tailored to each client's goals. This includes, as our main objective, ensuring that the underlying planning structure and techniques employed are consistent with the client's wishes. Frequently, considerations include involving the heirs in appropriate fiduciary positions, and conducting family meetings during which family members are afforded the chance to understand (always at the level desired by the client) the planning decisions and framework that are in place. During this process, family members are given the opportunity to understand the family's overall philosophy concerning wealth generation and the role that each generation will play, now and in the years to follow.